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 Shrimp Bisque 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!
Key Ingredients for Shrimp Bisque
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
Hey – you’ve made it this far, and now we’re best friends! If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. Make sure you follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, too!
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, shells reserved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 celery stalk large, sliced
- 1 small carrot sliced
- 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
- 1 tomato sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 black peppercorns whole
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup dry sherry plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 cups seafood stock or chicken stock if you can't find seafood stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3/4 cup whipping cream plus more for garnish, optional
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- fresh chives sliced thin, for garnish, optional
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream for garnish
- In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes or until pink on both sides. Transfer to bowl then drain juices and reserve. Transfer to cutting board and coarsely chop shrimp.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add shrimp shells and sauté until shells begin to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add onion and next 8 ingredients. Mix in brandy and sherry. Boil until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add seafood stock and reserved shrimp cooking juices. Boil over medium heat for 25 minutes or until reduced to 3 cups.
- Strain soup into a large bowl, pressing firmly on solids with the back of a spoon. Return broth to saucepan, then whisk tomato paste into soup. Simmer 3 minutes over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until dissolved.
- Remove soup from heat. Add heavy cream and cornstarch slurry to soup. Return to heat, and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in chopped shrimp and 2 tablespoons dry sherry and heat through, 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped chives and fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle a spoonful of heavy cream in a circle on top of bisque for a cheffy touch. Serve with crusty bread for dipping and add a green salad to make a complete meal.
- Types of 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.
If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out 40 Aprons Premium! 40 Aprons Premium offers exclusive recipes, monthly meal plans, grocery lists, and more – all completely ad free!
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.