From the Kitchen:: Shrimp Bisque

Shrimp Bisque 2

Winter calls for lots of soup and homemade biscuits.  There’s something comforting about a pot of soup simmering on the stove all day, and the warmth that it brings when you finally get to taste it.  For the most part, soups are simple to make, so with a little bit of effort you can have a delicious hearty meal–all in one pot.

This bisque (a rich creamy soup, typically made with shellfish) is my absolute favorite winter soup.  It’s a bit of an indulgence, with the shrimp, and the cream, but definitely worth it!  While we lived in Pensacola, we were able to buy fresh, local shrimp practically right off of the boat.  The seafood market, Joe Patti’s was right near our home, and they would steam it for us in the market, giving it that delicious Old Bay seasoning flavor.  You can steam your shrimp using plain water at home, with or without the Old Bay seasoning, but for the best flavor in your soup, I recommend adding a packet of Zattaran’s crab boil to the pot when you steam the shrimp (find it in the seasoning aisle of your grocery store).

And, just an added tip:  you can use the packets of crab boil more than once.  I simply let the bag dry out a bit, place it in a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.  I’ve had success with this, still getting that good flavor, using it a second time.  

shrimp bisque

I typically serve this soup with Cheddar Bay Biscuits, but the last time I made it we had Sweet Potato Biscuits and I loved that combination.  Maybe someday I’ll share that recipe here.  But, for now, just make the Cheddar Bay ones and you’ll be glad you did.

 

//Shrimp Bisque//

2 small onions, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
6 T butter
3 cans cream style corn
3 cans cream cream of celery soup
5-6 potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled until fork-tender
3 cups milk
3 cups half and half
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 lb. cooked shrimp (if previously frozen, they need to be thawed)*
1/8 teaspoon tabasco sauce (optional, more to taste)

In a large pot, melt butter and then add onions and green pepper.  Cook until veggies are tender, but not brown.  Add remaining ingredients, except shrimp, mix well and heat through, over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Stir in shrimp and discard bay leaves.

 

*I like to slice the shrimp lengthwise before adding to the pot.  This gives you smaller pieces in each bite, and stretches out the shrimp a bit. 

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