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.
Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
Yield 6 +
A delicious creamy bisque with shrimp and subtle flavors of shallots, carrots and celery in a broth base. Nourishing and delicious!
- 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
- Melt the butter in a large pot and add finely diced shallot, garlic, carrots and celery.
- Saute until tender (about 10-12 minutes).
- Add wine to deglaze (if using) and cook 30 seconds to evaporate.
- Add chicken broth, hot sauce and spices and use an immersion blender to puree until completely smooth.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- 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.
- Stir in heavy cream and simmer 4 minutes until just thickened.
- Serve immediately, or for better flavor, refrigerate overnight and reheat slowly before serving.
Have a favorite soup recipe? Care to share?