Shrimp Bisque

Last week was an incredibly busy one for me, so I was overjoyed when Alex suggested we head up to the mountain house for the weekend. Some of my favorite times are spent by the fire in the lodge with our family and friends. This got me thinking about how I could contribute to our lunch feast (it literally always turns into a feast). I immediately thought of shrimp bisque, which is one of my personal favorites, and herbed ricotta with baguette. So I spent my afternoon on Friday preparing these delicacies for what became a wonderful winter weekend.

P.S.- How adorable are my new napkins?! They're from Anthropologie's spring linen collection.

Shrimp Bisque
Yield: 8 Servings

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 leek (white and light green parts only), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 grape tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups shrimp stock (see recipe below)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 pinch paprika
kosher salt

Place a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Allow the butter to melt and add the diced onion, chopped leeks, and minced garlic. Allow them to cook for 4 minutes, stirring often with a wood spoon. Then add the grape tomatoes and allow them to cook for another 4 minutes, while stirring. Next, add the flour and stir it constantly for two minutes in order to remove the raw flour taste. Add the white wine and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, let it reduce for two minutes. Next, add the shrimp stock and bring it to a simmer. Once it's simmering, add the raw shrimp and allow them to cook in the simmering liquid for about six minutes. Next, add the half and half and the cayenne and stir them in completely. To blend the soup either use an immersion blender in the pot of soup, or add small batches of the soup to a food processor or blender. Finally, add kosher salt teaspoon by teaspoon until it tastes perfectly salted (this varies from person to person).

Shrimp Stock

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
10 stems parsley
shrimp shells (from one pound of shrimp)
ground black pepper
6 cups cold water

To make the stock, start by placing a large stock pot filled with 6 cups of cold water over high heat. Add the diced onion, the minced garlic, the chopped carrots, the parsley stems, the shrimp shells, and about a teaspoon of ground black pepper. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and bring it to a simmer and cover it. Allow it to simmer for an hour and a half, and then strain the stock. 


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