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shrimp bisque in a white bowl set on a black plate

Rich & Creamy Shrimp Bisque

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: (serves 4 as a small main or 2 as a full meal)
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: French/American


A rich and creamy shrimp bisque that’s just as decadent as the classic while still be fairly light. This recipe features a homemade shrimp stock and whole milk.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound 16/20 shell-on shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cup into ¾-inch chunks; shells reserved
  • ½ cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • ½ cup diced carrot (1 large carrot)
  • ½ cup chopped shallot (1 large shallot)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ½ cup dry vermouth
  • 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco + more for serving, optional
  • Fresh chives or scallions and red pepper flakes, for serving


  1. Melt butter in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add reserved shrimp shells and cook until spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in celery, carrot and shallot; season with salt and cook until beginning to soften, 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves; cook for 1 minute. Deglaze with vermouth, scraping up any browned bits; cook 1 minute.
  3. Add clam juice and ½ cup water; bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer reduced mixture to blender, add 1 cup milk and blend until completely smooth, at least 1 minute.
  5. Pour soup through fine-mesh strainer back into Dutch oven or large pot, pressing on solids to extract soup. Discard solids.
  6. Stir in remaining 1 ½ cups milk; bring soup to simmer over medium heat. Stir in shrimp and Tabasco, if using, and simmer until shrimp are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and additional Tabasco to taste. Serve with chives, Tabasco and/or red pepper flakes.


If you prefer an uber-decadent shrimp bisque, feel free to substitute half-and-half or cream for the whole milk.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 300
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 1783mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Cholesterol: 246mg

Keywords: shrimp bisque

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