Photograph of Prawn Bisque
Recipes,  Soup,  Starters and Lunch

Prawn Bisque

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Rich, silky smooth, creamy and exploding with flavour, this Prawn Bisque makes an incredible starter, if you are entertaining, or serve it with crispy fresh bread for an outrageously delicious and decadent lunch.

You can make a bisque with a range of different shellfish, including lobster, langoustine, crayfish and crab. One of the most popular seafood soups of all time, this French recipe originated in the Bay of Biscay, as a means of extracting all the flavour possible from crustaceans, not good enough to sell at market. Some recipes include grinding the shells with the soup, before straining, or using cooked rice to help thicken the soup. This recipe takes a slightly easier option. The soup is thickened with flour and it ensures that all the flavour is extracted from the shells, when making the stock.

Shellfish Stock

The quality of the shellfish stock is critical in this recipe and I strongly recommend you make your own. So much of the flavour comes from the stock, and unless you can buy top quality stock, the flavour of the soup will be much diminished. You can find the recipe here.

Photograph of Shellfish Stock

How to make Prawn Bisque

Collect all your ingredients together:

For the soup –
  • unsalted butter
  • red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • dry white wine
  • smoked paprika
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • tomato paste
  • caster or granulated sugar
  • fine salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • plain/all-purpose flour
  • shellfish stock, ideally homemade
  • prawns, shell off
  • fresh double/heavy cream
  • lemon juice
To serve –
  • olive oil
  • unsalted butter
  • green/raw prawns, shell/tails on or off
  • fresh double/heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley or chives

How to make Prawn Bisque:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot, over a medium heat, and add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring from time to time, for around 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add the wine and boil vigorously, until the wine has all but disappeared
  4. Now add the smoked paprika, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Stir well and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  5. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. Add the prawns and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  8. Wash the pan, place a very fine sieve over the top and strain the soup.
  9. Add the cream and lemon juice.
  10. Bring to a gentle simmer, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  11. To serve: heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over a moderately hot heat and cook the prawns on both sides. This will take 2 – 3 minutes.
  12. Serve in heated bowls with some fresh country/crispy bread on the side. Decorate with a swirl of cream, some cooked prawns on the side and a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley or chives.

Made this recipe?

If you make this recipe, do please tag me on instagram @daffodil_kitchen. You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.

Prawn Bisque

Rich, silky smooth, creamy and exploding with flavour, this Prawn Bisque makes an incredible starter, if you are entertaining, or serve it with crispy fresh bread for a fabulous lunch.

Course light lunch, Soup, Starter
Cuisine French
Keyword bisque, cold soup, prawns
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Susan

Ingredients

For the prawn bisque:

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 125g/1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50g/1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4g/1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon caster or granulated sugar
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon fine salt (or less if stock is seasoned)
  • ¼ freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1½ litres shellfish stock, preferably homemade
  • 400g prawns, shell off
  • 250ml fresh double/heavy cream
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • fresh, chopped parsley to serve

To serve:

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 8 – 12 green/raw prawns, shell/tails on or off
  • 4 tablespoons fresh double/heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley or chives

Instructions

  1. Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.

  2. Melt the butter in a large pot, over a medium heat, and add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring from time to time, for around 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  4. Add the wine and boil vigorously, until the wine has all but disappeared

  5. Now add the smoked paprika, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Stir well and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

  6. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

  7. Add the prawns and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until cooked through.

  8. Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth.

  9. Wash the pan, place a very fine sieve over the top and strain the soup.

  10. Add the cream and lemon juice.

  11. Bring to a gentle simmer, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

  12. To serve: heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over a moderately hot heat and cook the prawns on both sides. This will take 2 – 3 minutes.

  13. Serve in heated bowls with some fresh country/crispy bread on the side. Decorate with a swirl of cream, some cooked prawns on the side and a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley or chives.

Recipe Notes

Equipment:

  • kitchen scales and measuring spoons
  • chopping board and knife
  • large pan
  • food processor
  • sieve
  • frying pan

Shellfish Stock:

The quality of the shellfish stock is critical in this recipe and I strongly recommend you make your own. So much of the flavour comes from the stock, and unless you can buy top quality stock, the flavour of the soup will be much diminished.

Where does Bisque come from?

You can make a bisque with a range of different shellfish, including lobster, langoustine, crayfish and crab. One of the most popular seafood soups of all time, this French recipe originated in the Bay of Biscay, as a means of extracting all the flavour possible from crustaceans, not good enough to sell at market. Some recipes include grinding the shells with the soup, before straining, or using cooked rice to help thicken the soup. This recipe takes a slightly easier option. The soup is thickened with flour and it ensures that all the flavour is extracted from the shells, when making the stock.

 

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