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). Frequently, 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 had an amazing seafood bisque and it was often the only thing I’d order for a meal because it was so incredibly good. I’m not optimistic that 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 recreate 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, so 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 product.
Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the carrots and celery and saute 5 minutes.
- Add the shallot and garlic and saute an additional 3 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook 30 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.
- Add the chicken broth, spices, and hot sauce.
- Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree bisque until completely smooth.
- Bring contents of pot to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer.
- Chop the shrimp roughly and add to pan. If the shrimp are precooked, just heat 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. Do not allow to boil.
- Serve immediately, or for better flavor, refrigerate overnight and reheat slowly before serving.
Have a favorite soup recipe? Care to share?