Shrimp Bisque

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 50 mins | Yield: 6-8 servings


Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, heads off, peeled, and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups water, for shrimp stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups chopped fresh leeks
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cooking (white) wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/3 cup tomato sauce
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

Take the heads of the shrimps off. Peel and devein the shrimps, then rinse and set aside. Place the heads and shells in a medium stockpot. Add the water and boil for 10 minutes over low heat. When done, remove from heat and set aside. Strain and reserve the stock.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in another large stockpot. Add the leeks and cook them for 8 to 10 minutes over low-medium heat, or until the leeks are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the cooking wine and sherry and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor (fitted with a steel blade) and process until coarsely pureed, about 15 to 30 seconds, or longer (Leave the pureed shrimp-leeks in the food processor until ready to transfer it back to the pot).

In the same (shrimp-leeks) stockpot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and cook, keep stirring with a whisk, until slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp stock and tomato sauce, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp and leeks and season with salt and pepper. Heat gently until hot but do not boil. Adjust the taste with a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer the bisque to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh chives and cayenne pepper. Serve hot with any toasted garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!

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