Ina Garten's Shrimp Bisque

February  3, 2018
1 Ratings
Photo by rosemary | a hint of rosemary
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Every once in a while, we need to indulge in something rich and delicious. If you want to impress your family and friends, try this one on for size. Not too heavy. Not too creamy. Definitely rich and delicious. The base of this bisque starts off with seafood stock (homemade or purchased), which then gets a flavor boost by simmering it for a short time with the shrimp shells. You can easily transform this goodness into a gluten-free treat by replacing the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free variety. —rosemary | a hint of rosemary

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled & deveined, shells reserved (leave tail on 6 shrimp, for shrimp garnish)
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for shrimp garnish)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white & light green parts (about 3 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or madeira wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus extra for garnish)
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a large saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock, adding enough water to make a total of 3 3/4 cups.
  2. Heat a small saucepan or grill pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the 6 garnish shrimp until cooked through with a golden edge. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the chopped garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper & shrimp. Cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the brandy or cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the dry sherry or Madeira wine and cook for 3 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed. Alternatively, transfer the shrimp and leeks to a deep bowl and roughly blend with an immersion blender. Set aside.
  6. Using the same pot or dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt & pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season to taste. Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley, a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and 1 grilled shrimp.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • rosemary | a hint of rosemary
    rosemary | a hint of rosemary
  • Lablover
  • Canton Karen
    Canton Karen

4 Reviews

Lablover March 17, 2022
I’ve made this a few times and it has been a huge hit for company. I followed the recipe exactly. I was afraid it might be fishy based on another review (I do not like fishy), but it wasn’t at all! I’m making it again this weekend.
rosemary |. March 17, 2022
So happy to hear that you love this!
Canton K. January 22, 2022
I wasn't happy with this recipe. It tasted fishy, but had no shrimp in it, because shrimp were pureed. I added another pound of cooked shrimp. That made it decent. A lot of money for a mediocre recipe. I will not make it again.
rosemary |. January 23, 2022
Canton, so sorry you were disappointed with the way this turned out for you. My crowd really does go crazy over it. Since most bisque style soups are smooth and creamy, you wouldn't typically find chunks of shrimp within. When I make this for my family, I am cautious to make a coarse puree so that there is some texture remaining. That way it does feel as though it is more "substantial."