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Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque – A luscious, velvety smooth soup with a rich buttery flavor that is sure to warm you up on the cold winter days. It’s served best in fancy wine glasses and garnished with fresh parsley and croutons.

This seafood bisque recipe hails from New Orleans and comes from my coworker, she made it for us for lunch one day and I had to get the recipe.

It’s more of a “from scratch” than a “canned soup” type of recipe so it takes some time but the results are totally worth the effort!

The first step of cooking this soup requires making a shrimp stock/broth. It’s so important to use fresh shrimp in this recipe because it will have a big impact on the flavor of the final product, please please don’t use frozen or canned shrimp!

Ingredients :

– 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

– 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley plus 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

– 1/4 cup vegetable oil

– 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)

– 6 stalks celery, diced (about 2 cups)

– 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)

– 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups) I used white button mushrooms instead of cremini – 3 bay leaves I just used 1 bay leaf – Salt and pepper to taste – 4 cups seafood stock (see recipe below)

– 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice (about 1 cup)

– 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

– 2 cups heavy cream I used whole milk instead of heavy cream – 3/4 pound cooked crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage (I used real lump crab meat from the seafood counter at Whole Foods) you can also use imitation crab meat if you wish.

For the shrimp stock:

1. Combine the shrimp shells and heads in a large pot with enough water to cover everything by an inch or two. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 1 minute. Drain, rinse and transfer to a clean pot.

2. Add the parsley sprigs and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil again over high heat. Lower the heat so it’s simmering freely and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl, pushing on the solids with a ladle to extract as much flavorful liquid as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 2 1/2 cups stock — if you have less, add enough water to make up the difference; if you have more, boil it down until you have 2 1/2 cups (this is why I didn’t add veggies to this recipe).

3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the bay leaves and 2 cups of shrimp stock (add more if needed to cover all ingredients). Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat so it’s simmering briskly and cook for 30 minutes.

5. While you’re waiting for your soup base to cook down:

6. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet lined with foil; freeze until firm but not solid (the colder they are before you add them to the, the less likely they are to overcook and turn rubbery) I just left them in the fridge for a few hours

8. Add the shrimp, carrots and parsley to the pot along with more shrimp stock as needed to cover all ingredients by about an inch (be careful not to add too much — you can always add more later, but you don’t want it too thin) and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so it’s simmering briskly and cook, uncovered, until the soup is thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes longer.

9. Using an immersion blender (or transferring into batches to a standard blender), purée the soup until very smooth; if your soup is on thicker side (it will continue to thicken as it cools), add a bit more stock.

10. Add the flour and whisk until smooth; cook, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the soup is slightly thickened but still very fluid, about 2 minutes. (if you add flour to a hot liquid all at once it will clump up in a horrible mess).

11. Stir in the heavy cream and gently simmer for 8-10 more minutes or until everything has melded together and taste just amazing!

12. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed (a little cayenne would be good too!) serve immediately topped off with crabmeat and chopped parsley (and crunchy bread on the side of course!)

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