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SO, for many of you Lent is fast approaching. I don’t know much about Lent except that it’s mostly a Catholic thing, there is a lot of seafood involved, and some sort of vice is given up until Easter. I’m sure you can see I’m not exactly devout. Although I am considering giving up chocolate.
I ,for one, love Lent.
No, not because of the spiritual cleansing, but because seafood becomes MUCH more affordable during this period of time. For example, canned Chicken of the Sea tuna is now on sale for $.50 a can. Fresh fish can be found for $3 and $4 per pound. And shrimp, one of the few sea creatures my husband can eat, is on sale for a blessed $4.49 a pound. And not the little cocktail shrimp, I’m talking the big ol’ shrimp that’s usually $7 or $8 a pound.
Ah…something besides chicken, it’s a wonderful thing.
So, I had a little shrimp on hand and it is cold outside so, soup naturally came to mind. But the reason I chose ?Spicy Shrimp Bisque in a Bread Bowl? is because of this:
My new toy. I have been wanting one for a long time. A dual speed emulsion blender. It even comes with a handy whisk attachment. I will never have to drag out the food processor again to puree up some soup. Vichyssoise will be a cinch. Gazpacho a walk in the park . And it’s all thanks to this man:
The Hubs.( isn’t he cute?) A Valentine’s Day gift I can sink my teeth into. Who needs flowers? I have an emulsion blender! Thanks baby.
So, I made this jewel of a dish tonight and ate 3 bowls of it. It is incredibly delicious. Just the right amount of heat, tons of flavor, and plenty of heft to fill you up. Since I make my own stock and I made my own bread bowls, I figure the cost came to around $7 or so for the whole dish. Really pretty darn good for a shrimp dish. It makes about 10 cups. So it could feed 4 or 5 people easily, which means it’s about $1.40 per person.
Spicy Shrimp Bisque in a Bread Bowl
4 T butter
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 onion chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 T long grain rice
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup half and half ( I used the Fat Free version )
2 T sherry
Crusty round loaves of bread for serving
In a large dutch oven, melt 1 T of butter over medium heat. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add in wine, scraping up any brown bits.
Then add in chicken broth.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and into a separate bowl.
In the same dutch oven, melt the remaining butter. Add shrimp to the pot and cook for 3 minutes until just turning opaque.
Remove the shrimp and reserve in a bowl.
Stir in the onion, carrot and celery to the pot and cook over medium heat until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, bay leaf, salt and cayenne. Stir for 30 seconds, then add in broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Add the tomatoes with juice to the pot and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes stirring often. Remove Bay Leaf.
Add shrimp back to pot.
Kill the heat. Whip out your emulsion blender ( or your food processor) and blend the soup until smooth. I like to pull out a few shrimp before blending to add some chunkiness to the soup after blending.
Stir in sherry and half and half.
Cut out the center of a bread bowl. Leaving the bottom and sides in tact.
Ladle the soup in each bowl and enjoy.