SHRIMP AND CORN BISQUE
300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds
There is something irresistible about the marriage of August- sweet corn and fresh shrimp. The only thing that could make this soup better is a glass of Chardonnay and a really good loaf of bread with butter.
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
• 2 onions, finely chopped, divided
• 2 stalks celery, diced, divided
• 1 carrot, diced
• 2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise, shells reserved
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 6 whole black peppercorns
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 tsp dried thyme
• 4 ears corn, kernels removed and reserved and cobs cut into quarters
• 8 cups shellfish, chicken or vegetable stock
• 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup whipping (35%) cream
• Pinch ground nutmeg Pinch cayenne pepper
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp minced fresh chives
1. In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add half the onions, half the celery and the carrot; saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add shrimp shells, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme; saute until shells turn pink and garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add corn cobs and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add remaining onion and celery; saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add flour and salt; saute for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Strain the stock and discard all solids; return stock to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add corn kernels and simmer until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes. Add cream mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with chives.
We like to add small amounts of cayenne and nutmeg to many of our soups because they add immeasurably to the flavor without announcing their presence.