I don’t go out to eat all the time, but with more and more restaurants offering healthy menus, it’s more of an option. Years ago there was only one restaurant in my little town that I really enjoyed. I ordered their shrimp bisque almost every time!
Eventually, it came under new management and opened with a new menu. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for one thing: Their delicious seafood bisque. I knew I needed to take matters into my own hands. Before I forgot the taste of that delicious soup, I decided to try to recreate it.
Creating Shrimp Bisque
At the time the town where I lived had limited access to quality seafood. I decided to use shrimp as the base in place of pricier and harder to find seafood like crab or lobster. Now that I live along the coast I can take my pick, but I’m still partial to this shrimp bisque version. And if your area doesn’t have great seafood options, there are now places like this one that will ship wild caught seafood to you.
I can’t believe I didn’t try to recreate this recipe sooner, since it’s relatively expensive at restaurants and probably has some questionable ingredients anyway. Now, we can enjoy this favorite soup at home whenever we want!
What’s the Difference Between Bisque and Soup?
Bisque is defined as a little slice of heaven.
Ok, so technically it’s a creamy, broth-based, flavored French soup. It’s often made with seafood stock as a base and sauteed and pureed veggies for thickness and flavor. Though the term “bisque” can refer to any type of creamy soup, the original and authentic bisque has broth and pureed shellfish. Chowder on the other hand (like clam chowder) is thick and chunky.
This is the most budget-friendly authentic bisque I’ve been able to make. I’ve found that shrimp is often easy to find and inexpensive (even wild caught). Feel free to use lobster, crab, or shellfish instead if you prefer though.
I love this creamy shrimp bisque so much that I can eat it as a meal by itself. Traditionally it’s served more as an appetizer though.
Dairy-Free Shrimp Bisque
This recipe has dairy, so as written it wouldn’t be good for those with a dairy allergy or sensitivity. You can substitute thick coconut milk for the cream in this recipe though. It will change the taste and texture slightly but will still create a good finished product.
It’s naturally gluten-free so no worries there. Some recipes use all-purpose flour to thicken, but the carrots and celery add thickness here.
Since the soup has a nice creamy base, garnishes add some visual and textural contrast. You could add a few sprigs of parsley to the top or a sprinkle of kosher salt. Chopped chives also make a nice touch. And if you have some healthy croutons, those are good too. If you like your soup spicy you can always add a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the top.
Chicken Stock vs. Seafood Stock
I originally wrote this recipe with chicken stock since it’s what I had access to. Traditionally it’s made with seafood or shrimp stock though. Either option tastes good, it just depends on your preference.
If you can’t find healthy shrimp stock, it’s really easy to make your own. Save the shrimp shells from your shrimp and saute them in a little oil. You’ll then add a few cups water and salt and simmer before straining. Some people add seasonings like rosemary or bay leaf to the cooking water. Here’s an easy shrimp stock recipe if you need one.
Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
A delicious creamy bisque with shrimp and subtle flavors of shallots, carrots, and celery in a broth base. Nourishing and delicious!
Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories from Fat 495
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 35g219%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Vitamin A 3649IU73%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
- You can also use crab, lobster, or any combination of your favorite seafood. Lobster bisque also makes a delicious meal!
- If you like your bisque thicker, then reduce the broth and cream to 1 and 1/2 cups each.
Have a favorite soup recipe? Care to share? Leave a comment and let us know!