Soup Week: Seafood Bisque

The Wife and I like fish. It actually took a while to get her up to speed on seafood, as well as most green leafy vegetables. It started during our junior year. We lived in neighboring campus apartments, so evening dinners were cooked in one of our kitchens. Salad was a staple of my dinner and usually something I fixed for myself. One night, I started mixing it for her. She felt bad and didn’t want to waste food, so she ate it. Well, maybe not eat as much as she did choke it down. When I started making a salad every night with dinner, she requested different dressing than the larynx-singeing extra vinegary red wine vinaigrette that I was making. This led to me making broccoli, spinach, et al with dinner.

Seafood came later with holiday dinners at my house. Once the walls of fried smelt, baccala, shrimp were broken down, there was no turning back. I’m not sure what her parents did to cause such food chaos in their house. I fixed this one, though. My sister-in-law…still won’t eat chocolate. I don’t get it.

I don’t remember where I got this bisque recipe from, but I have tweaked it over time.

Seafood Bisque

  • 2 tb butter
  • 2 tb flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 boullion cubes (vegetable preferred, but chicken will work)
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1# shrimp (raw, shells on)
  • 1/2# sea scallops
  • 1/2# crab
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2# filet of a mild white fish (cod, haddock, etc.)
  • lg. can of tomato paste

In a large saucepan, add the fish and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the shrimp just begins to turn the telltale orange color indicating they have been cooked. Use a slotted spoon to move the fish to a small strainer or colander and set the colander in a bowl of ice water to stop the fish from cooking. Leave the fish stock on the stove, keeping it warm.

Remove the shells from the shrimp and add the fish to a food processor. Pulse the fish until it is pureed. Set fish aside.

In another saucepan, melt butter over low heat and stir in flour, salt, pepper, boullion, onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Gently whisk in half and half. Add fish, tomato paste and 1 cup of your fish stock. Raise to medium heat and stir until cream froths. Add wine and cook for 15-20 minutes.

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