the key to good shrimp bisque: make a shrimp stock with the reserved shrimp shells.
sauté the shrimp shells in butter, then add vegetables, fresh herbs, bay leaves, tomato paste and clam juice.
cook that down until very thick and reduced. then transfer to a blender with some milk and blend until smooth. Pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve back into the pot; discard the solids.
add additional milk to the pot—or try half-and-half or cream for an uber-decadent bisque.
stir in a dash of Tabasco for heat. then stir in the shrimp chunks and cook briefly until they're pink.
a simple and celebratory holiday dinner!