Roasted Shrimp Bisque

Karen, FamilyStyle Food

When I was seven or eight, I went to a family party where I found a table full of different things people had brought – my first potluck. I was skeptical and frankly afraid of the lidded pots full of unfamiliar things my own mother hadn’t cooked.

I dipped into a brown ceramic soup pot of what I thought must surely be something like the beloved cream of tomato soup I ate on cold days when I came home from school. No! It wasn’t that; it was shrimp bisque. After the shock wore off, I wanted another taste of what was in my bowl, which reminded me a little of the savory buttery, cracker-crumbed baked shrimp my grandmother made for holidays.

Roasted Shrimp Bisque
By Karen
Makes 8-10 servings


2 pounds extra-large (16/20) unpeeled shrimp
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons brandy or cognac (optional)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Chopped fresh parsley


Heat oven to 425°F.

Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells.

Toss the shrimp shells, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil together in a roasting pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper; roast until vegetables are browned and shells turn pink, 20 – 25 minutes.

Pour 1 cup water and the tomatoes into the pan and scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the shrimp mixture to a 6-quart stockpot or saucepan. Add 3 cups water, breadcrumbs and the brandy, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper; bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Add the cream and 1 pound shrimp to the pot, return to a simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and opaque. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Puree the soup (including shells*) in batches in a blender (use caution when blending – don’t fill the container more than ¾ full). Pour the soup through a fine strainer set over a large bowl; return to the pot, taste for seasoning and warm over low heat.

Heat the remaining tablespoon butter in a medium sauté pan; add the remaining 1 pound shrimp; season with salt and pepper and cook just until the shrimp turn pink. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serve the bisque in bowls topped with a few of the sautéed shrimp.

*Note: As with most classic bisques, the shells are pureed into the soup for flavor and thickening. Any remaining pieces are removed when the bisque is strained.

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6 thoughts on “Roasted Shrimp Bisque

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  1. Susan said:

    In this roasted shrimp bisque recipe, what do you do with the shrimp shells? Are they pureed into the soup. Nothing was mentioned in the directions about the shells after they are roasted. I find it hard to believe they are pureed into the soup. Please advise. Thanks.

  2. Janet Morrissey said:

    There is no mention of removing the shrimp shells. Are they actually pureed with the rest of the ingredients?

  3. Katrina Drummond said:

    The shells are used to flavor the stock and should be removed. It looks like they just forgot to put that note in there.

    • realbutter said:

      The shells are puréed with the rest of the ingredients and then it’s all strained before adding the rest of the shrimp before serving.

  4. Sharon Smith said:

    I am from Louisiana can’t wait to try your roasted shrimp bisque and crab poppers. I like your easy to find ingredients. Thanks

  5. karena said:

    And waaay to much shrimp added to the stock. Save your money, and use 1/10. You’ll still get the flavor.