Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe

savory seafood bisque recipe

My husband and I have *tried* to keep date nights a priority over the years. It definitely isn’t easy and we don’t schedule them nearly as often as we’d like (though we do plan some fun at-home ones pretty often). Often, we bring a nursing baby with us and a date gets cut short by bedtime or a diaper explosion, but we try.

There is only one restaurant in our town that we really enjoy and it has been our go-to date place for years. Unfortunately, it recently came under new management, is temporarily closed and is re-opening under a new name and with a new menu.

This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for one thing: Their delicious seafood bisque.

This restaurant has an amazing seafood bisque and it is often the only thing I’ll order for a meal because it is so incredibly good. I’m not hopeful it will be on the new menu when it re-opens so before I forgot the taste of that delicious soup, I decided to try to re-create it.

We have limited access to quality seafood where we are so I decided to use shrimp as the base in place of more expensive and harder to find seafood like crab or lobster.

I actually can’t believe I didn’t try to recreate this recipe sooner, as it was relatively expensive at the restaurant and probably had some questionable ingredients anyway. Now, we can enjoy this favorite soup at home even when we can’t make it out for a date night!

What is a Bisque?

A little slice of heaven. Ok, so technically it is a creamy, broth-based, flavored French soup. It is often made with a seafood broth as a base and may also contain sauted and pureed vegetables to thicken and flavor it. Though the term “bisque” can now often refer to any type of creamy soup, the original and authentic bisque contains broth and seafood.

This is the most budget-friendly authentic bisque I’ve been able to make since it contains shrimp, which is often easy to find and inexpensive (even wild caught). It does contain dairy and as it is written it wouldn’t be good for anyone with a dairy allergy. You can substitute thick coconut milk for the cream in this recipe. It will change the taste and texture slightly but will still create a good finished bisque.

savory seafood bisque recipe

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Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 +

A delicious creamy bisque with shrimp and subtle flavors of shallots, carrots and celery in a broth base. Nourishing and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, wild caught
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons carrots, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine, optional
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • dash of hot sauce, optional
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot and add finely diced shallot, garlic, carrots and celery.
  2. Saute until tender (about 10-12 minutes).
  3. Add wine to deglaze (if using) and cook 30 seconds to evaporate.
  4. Add chicken broth, hot sauce and spices and use an immersion blender to puree until completely smooth.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Rough chop the shrimp and add to pan. If pre-cooked, just cook until warm. If shrimp are raw, simmer for 3-4 minutes or until cooked and pink.
  7. Stir in heavy cream and simmer 4 minutes until just thickened.
  8. Serve immediately, or for better flavor, refrigerate overnight and reheat slowly before serving.

Courses Main

Cuisine French

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Reader Comments

  1. Oh man, this looks amazing. We need to have a date night just so I can make this!

  2. Thanks Katie. I have followed a few of your recipes and noticed that there are a few things that would be helpful for those of us that are not vey experienced in the kitchen. For example, step one, can you tell us if it should be medium or low heat?
    Step 4) you said add the chicken broth, hot sauce and spices and use an immersion blender to puree.
    this this step separate from the stove? In other words add these items to the blender then once pureed bring to the stove to add to the butter shallot mixture? When you said “add” it was unclear to me if you are supposed to add that first to the stove and then combine the stuff including the butter to the blender.

    • Good point and I will definitely try to be more specific in recipes. It should be medium heat in step one. In step 4, I add the broth, hot sauce and spices and use a hand-held immersion blender to (carefully) blend the mixture while still in the pot, but you could use a regular blender for this if you wanted to.

  3. I made several omissions and substitutions to make it more AIP – it didn’t turn out as pretty as yours but it was delicious!!

  4. This looks/sounds wonderful, but since we’re primarily whole food, plant based (occasional seafood), I’m guessing there’s no good substitution for the butter and heavy cream, though I could probably use vegetable broth instead of chicken. Any ideas?

    • Katie says you can use coconut milk for the heavy cream. I expect coconut oil would be an acceptable sub for the butter. This will probably add a hint of coconut flavor to the soup, which honestly sounds delicious to me. If that doesn’t work for you, you could try using almond milk and another healthy oil like olive, but that would have a pretty significant impact on the texture.

      • I used coconut cream (the really thick stuff at the top of the can) instead of the heavy cream and it was delish. I did use butter, but I agree with Becky that you could try coconut oil instead, or even avocado oil so the coconut flavour isn’t overpowering.

    • Great recipe! Now, give this recipe to the new owners and start a Facebook petition. I did that once when something was taken off the menu at Cactus Club, they brought it back!

  5. I shell the shrimp and make a quick shrimp stock to use in bisque. Just bring the shells and filtered water to a boil and simmer for no more than 10 minutes. Add to recipe. Shrimp stock is very delicate and does not benefit from over-simmering. Best wishes.

  6. I’m on a sodium restricted diet – any nutritional info on this soup??
    Many thanks!

  7. Super yummy with salmon in a can. Had Cajun blend and smoked paprika so used those instead. Yummmm.

  8. Where on Earth would any “wild caught” shrimp come from that is not radioactive from FUK-U-shima fallout, chemtrailing/bioengineering, industrial pollution, or BP’s CorExit, if from the Gulf?

    Finally even organic cream would also have FUK-U-shima fallout and chemtrail contamination, with the levels only varying by where the cows grazed. They are magnificent mowers of toxins that have fallen from the sky, or fell with the rain to coat the pastures.

    It is no longer healthy to eat any animal products, and now even our “organic” produce can still be radioactive, or contaminated with nano particle aluminum and other toxins used in chemtrailling, the higher depending on where and when it was harvested

    • Simply, then this recipe is not for you but please practice being kind.

  9. The instructions appear to indicate two separate preparations – first the “lion’s share” of the ingredients in the pot and then the shrimp and cream in the pan; however I don’t see any mention of combining these two.

  10. I couldn’t wait to make this! I made it last night, with a few little changes. First, I only made half a batch because I’m too cheap to use an entire pound of shrimp and there are only 2 of us. Secondly, as always, while sautéing the shallot and garlic, I burned them. Pretty normal. Even with my nice changes to the recipe, it was amazing. I’ll certainly make it a lot in the future.

    The seasonings are so perfectly balanced that you can’t go wrong. Really an excellent recipe.

    Thank you, Katie for creating a recipe that even I can’t screw it up!

  11. This sounds so amazing!!! Thank you!

    Anyone else have anymore ideas for variations on how to keep it dairy free without ruining the flavor?

  12. Can this recipe be made with a more “carb friendly” vegetable other than carrots? It looks delicious!

  13. I am sorta new to the coconut oil rave and certainly hope “they” dont come up with discoveries that coconut oil has toxic or unhealthy outcomes over ones lifetime like “they” have in the past with eggs and other very healthy foods, cause I LOVE coconut oil. I use it as a moisturizer, make up remover, basicly full body care. I have extremely dry skin, like rough patches and flakes coating my clothes no matter how much “extra dry” body lotion i use..This problem is from medication,winter skin itch, central heat indoors that zap moisture from you and cause painful serious conditions. I thrilled to say the foconut oil has kicked all my dry skin issues to the curb. Thanks for your extensive researched info on nut oil. Ps cant wait to make this soup. I used to get carry out lobster bisqe from Red Lobster and buy a few cheddar bay Biscuits , but now they sell the mix at the store, now do it all yourself and save money.

  14. While making this I was very skeptical- the base seemed way too thin and it did not look as pink as the photo. Turns out it was delicious! Not something I’d ever try to seek out but I am so glad you posted this fabulous recipe.

  15. PLEASE add this to real plans! This was amazing. Can’t wait to have again. Thinking of making the recipe (without cream and shrimp) to freeze. I can warm it up later and add the shrimp and cream for a quick supper. Thanks so much