Rich, classic shrimp bisque that’s completely restaurant worthy, yet easy to make at home! Smooth and creamy, loaded with tender shrimp, and lots of flavor, this is the perfect soup for date night at home, entertaining, or anytime you’re ready for an elegant chef-quality recipe that’s sure to impress. Inspired by the lobster bisque from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
This recipe is based on a lobster bisque I made as a copycat for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, but with shrimp! Creamy, rich, and bursting with delicious seafood flavor, it’s like the soup you would get as an appetizer at a fancy restaurant.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- It’s super easy to adapt this recipe to fit your mealtime needs! Use smaller portions for a shrimp bisque appetizer, or larger portions to make it a standalone meal.
- The bisque is smooth and creamy and as good as (if not better than) shrimp bisque you’ll find at a restaurant!
- This whole dish is so, so easy to make but it looks complicated and elegant. It will absolutely knock the socks off anyone you’re cooking for!
Brandy and Dry Sherry – Brandy is aged in barrels and has a floral, fruity flavor. Dry sherry is not as sweet as other types of sherry and has a light, slightly nutty flavor. Combined, they add an extra splash of flavor to the bisque.
Seafood Stock – While you can use chicken stock if seafood isn’t available, the seafood stock helps give this bisque a wonderful boost of seafood flavor.
Whipping Cream – Bisques are meant to be creamy, and whipping cream helps make this shrimp bisque incredibly rich.
- You can use cooking sherry if you don’t have dry sherry, but I recommend buying a bottle (especially if you plan on making this bisque more than once). There are several different types of dry sherry and they each have a different flavor. Fino and Manzanilla are both very light dry sherries. Amontillado is slightly more aged and has a nuttier, richer flavor. Full-body Oloroso is dark and aromatic. Paleo Cortado is rich, intense, and a little salty. I recommend either a Fino or Manzanilla, but feel free to try any variety!
- For this shrimp bisque, you want to purchase shrimp in the shells. The shells are super important to developing the stock that eventually becomes your creamy bisque! As far as fresh vs. frozen shrimp, either will work, but unless you live near the water and can buy them right off the boat, you’re better off getting frozen shrimp.
More Delicious Shrimp Recipes
- Creamy Shrimp Salad
- Whole30 Bang Bang Shrimp (Paleo, Grain Free, Nut Free)
- Keto Gumbo
- Tuscan Shrimp (Whole30, Paleo)
- Baked Shrimp
For the Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined, shells reserved
For the Homemade Shrimp Stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- shrimp shells reserved from pound of shrimp
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 large celery stalk sliced
- 1 small carrot sliced
- 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
- 1 medium tomato sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- ¼ cup brandy
- ½ cup dry sherry
For the Bisque
- 4 cups seafood stock or chicken stock, in addition to homemade shrimp stock
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
Serving Suggestions (All Optional)
- thinly sliced fresh chives
- freshly cracked black pepper
- heavy whipping cream
- crusty bread
- Large, heavy-bottomed pot
- Cutting board
- Small bowl or glass jar
- Sharp knife
- Large wooden spoon
- Large bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- Serving bowls
- Heat large pot over medium heat. When pot is warm, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Swirl pot occasionally to distribute oil around pot.
- When oil is hot and shimmery, add shrimp to pot. Cook shrimp 1 to 2 minutes, then flip shrimp over and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until shrimp are pink on both sides.
- Transfer shrimp to cutting board, then drain liquid from pot into bowl or glass jar. Set liquid aside. Chop shrimp into bite-sized chunks.
- Return large pot to stovetop and increase heat under pot to high. When pot is warm again, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and swirl pot occasionally to distribute oil.
- When oil is hot and shimmery, add shrimp shells to pot. Sauté shrimp shells, stirring occasionally, until shells begin to brown – approximately 4 minutes.
- Once shells start to brown, add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, tomato, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns to pot. Stir in brandy and sherry, until ingredients are well incorporated. Bring mixture to boil over high heat and allow to boil 4 minutes or until majority of liquid has evaporated.
- Once brandy and sherry have mostly evaporated, reduce heat under pot to medium. Add 4 cups seafood stock and reserved shrimp cooking juices to pot, stirring well to incorporate liquids. Bring mixture boil over medium heat and boil 25 minutes or until liquid has reduced to 3 cups.
- Use colander to strain liquid from pot into large bowl. Collect solid ingredients in colander and press firmly with back of spoon to expel as much liquid as possible. Discard solid ingredients.
- Return liquid to large pot, and return pot to stovetop over medium heat. Add tomato paste and whisk until paste is incorporated into liquid. Simmer mixture 3 minutes.
- While mixture simmers, add cornstarch and water to small bowl and whisk vigorously until cornstarch is dissolved and creates slurry.
- After 3 minutes, remove pot from heat. Allow bisque to cool slightly, then pour in heavy whipping cream and cornstarch slurry. Stir until cream and slurry are well incorporated, then return pot to heat. Increase heat under pot to medium-high and simmer mixture 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- When mixture has thickened, reduce heat under pot to medium. Add chopped shrimp and 2 tablespoons dry sherry, and stir to incorporate. Simmer mixture 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp is warmed through. Be careful not to overcook shrimp.
- Once shrimp is warm, ladle bisque into serving bowls. Garnish bowls of bisque with chopped chives and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle spoonfuls of heavy cream on top of bisque in circular motion, then serve bisque immediately with crusty bread if desired.
- Sherry: Can use cooking sherry if you don’t have dry sherry. Fino and Manzanilla – very light dry sherries; Amontillado – slightly more aged and has a nuttier, richer flavor; Oloroso – full-bodied, dark, and aromatic; Paleo Cortado –rich, intense, and a little salty.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use coconut cream instead of whipping cream.
- Make it Gluten Free: Pure cornstarch is gluten free, but be careful to avoid any brands that might cross-contaminate. Alternately, you can use 2 tablespoons arrowroot in place of the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe.
- Make it Keto: Most of the carbs in this bisque come from the veggies and the cornstarch. Leaving out the onion will save you approximately 2-3g net carbs per serving. Replace the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum. Use heavy cream instead of whipping cream for extra fat. Also, look for the lowest carb tomato paste you can find, with no added sugars.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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