A seafood bisque is a rich and flavorful soup made from a puree of shellfish, often including crab, lobster, shrimp, or crayfish. The term “bisque” traditionally refers to a smooth and creamy soup, and seafood bisque fits this description perfectly. Here’s a typical way to prepare a seafood bisque:Ingredients:
- Assorted seafood: This can include crab meat, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish of your choice. You can use a single type or a combination.
- Aromatics: Onions, garlic, celery, and carrots are often used to add depth of flavor.
- Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes or tomato paste can be used to provide a tangy base.
- Broth: Fish or seafood stock forms the liquid base of the bisque. You can use store-bought or make your own by simmering fish or seafood shells with aromatics and water.
- Heavy cream: This gives the bisque its creamy texture.
- Herbs and spices: Commonly used herbs include thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Spices like paprika and cayenne pepper add a bit of heat.
- Butter: Used for sautéing the aromatics and seafood, adding richness to the dish.
- Brandy or sherry: A splash of brandy or sherry is often added for depth of flavor.
- Sauté Aromatics: In a large pot, melt butter and sauté finely chopped onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until they are soft and fragrant.
- Add Tomatoes: Stir in the tomatoes (either canned or paste) and cook for a few minutes until they are incorporated well into the mixture.
- Add Seafood and Broth: Add the assorted seafood to the pot and pour in the fish or seafood stock. Let the mixture simmer until the seafood is cooked through.
- Puree the Mixture: Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Be careful when blending hot liquids; allow them to cool a bit before blending, and blend in batches if necessary.
- Return to Heat and Add Cream: Return the pureed soup to the pot and place it back on the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you prefer.
- Finish with Brandy or Sherry: Just before serving, add a splash of brandy or sherry. This step is optional but adds a delightful depth of flavor.
- Serve: Ladle the hot seafood bisque into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or chives. You can also serve it with crusty bread or croutons.
Enjoy your delicious and creamy seafood bisque!
Image from Wikipedia