I’ve had a few requests from friends for the recipe for the Shrimp Bisque I made for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Delicious and decadent, this soup can be made for not too much money or skill.
A great soup for a dinner party, you can impress your guests with little to no fuss. This website is all about trying to help our readers appear more fancy then they can afford so this one is for you. Just mention the “Champagne Reduction” you made for the soup base, and all your guests will think you’re the shit, ahem, I mean, a true epicurean.
serves 8 as a starter, 4 as a main dish
- 1 bottle of Dry Champagne*
- 2 cups shrimp stock (see below for instructions)
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 2-3 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 Tbs dried tarragon dried
- 1 tsp summer savory
- 4-5 strands saffron
- 1 c. leeks, thinly sliced 1 or 2 leeks
- 1/4 c. Canada Dry
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp with shell
- 1/2 lb raw shirmp with shells (from soup recipe)
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 5-6 peppercorns
- 2-3 bayleaves
- 4 c. water (tap is in, designer is out or so says Zagat)
To start we will cook our shrimp which also makes the stock for our soup as well as begin the champagne reduction at the same time.
Place champagne in a pot and bring to a boil (when it boils it will boil big because of all the bubbly carbonation so watch out!). Bring down to a simmer and add taragon and summer savory. Allow to cook until liquid is reduced by 1/2 (about 30 min or so). Strain herbs out of champagne and here is your reduction. Easy.
In another pot put all the STOCK ingredients except shrimp in a pot and bring to a boil. When boiling, add shrimp and bring down to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked. Remove shrimp, keeping the water and vegetables boiling. Shell the shrimp and set cooked shrimp aside. Put shells back in the water and continue to boil for 10-20 more minutes. Strain veggies, shells and what not from the liquid and here is your shrimp stock! Easy.
While stock and champagne boils, take your leek(s) and slice in half. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to get any dirt between the layers. Even store bought leeks often have dirt in the inner layers which you don’t want in your soup. Thinly slice the half circles of leeks. Easy.
In a soup pot, saute leeks in 2-3 Tbs of butter. When Clear, add the tomato paste and saute for a minute or two. Then add your champagne reduction, 2 cups of your shrimp stock and the saffron. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 15 min.
Chop the cooked shrimp into thirds or quarters, depending on size and add to soup along with the cream. Salt and pepper to taste. If you would like a bit of sweet, you can add the ginger ale. You don’t have to use Canada Dry, but you know me. I aspire to one day be paid by these big time companies for product placement so I’m throwin in a freebie right now.
Ganish with sliced chives or green onions. Serve and eat.
OK, so perhaps not everyone has summer savory and saffron lying around their kitchen. You can skip the summer savory if you want, just add a bit more tarragon. The saffron is a must. Its a bit expensive, but you’ll never use much, just a few strands at a time. A small envelope can be purchased for about $7 or $8. Consider it an investment in your culinary future.