Corn and Shrimp Bisque

It’s finally summer which means that it is almost corn on the cob season. The grocery stores have corn on the cob, but farmer’s markets don’t. Mediocre grocery store corn is better than nothing, but it doesn’t really inspire me to do the typical summer corn on the cob things. What it is good for, however, is making corn and shrimp bisque. I know. I know what you’re thinking. “Corn in shrimp bisque? What kind of sacrilege is this? Corn doesn’t belong in soup.” Well, I promise, it’s delicious. Even if you don’t believe corn belongs in soup.

This recipe is one of the first fancy recipe things I made in kitchen when I moved to my current (almost a yeat ago now) and it is adapted from this:

Servings: Four to six bowls
Time: 1.5 hours (including prep)
Tools needed: Large pot, sieve, large bowl, knife, cutting board, ladle


1 pound of uncooked shrimp
2 cups chopped onions
One stalk of celery, roughly chopped
3 ears corn
5 cups water
Dry thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 white wine
3-6 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 cup half-and-half

Soup Making Time!

  1. Peel and de-vein shrimp. Keep shells. If, like me, you cook shrimp regularly, you should consider saving the shells every time you make them. You can keep them in the freezer and then use them in addition to the shells from the shrimp you are adding to the soup.
  2. Chop onions and celery. Chop shrimp into chunks. De-husk your corn and remove kernels from ears of corn (should be about 2 cups) and set aside. Keep the corn cobs.
  3. Heat oil in large stockpot. Add all your shells and the onions. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally until the shells are pink, like this:
    I had a lot of leftover shrimp shells in my freezer, hence why the pot's so full.

    I had a lot of leftover shrimp shells in my freezer, hence why the pot’s so full.

  4. Add the corn cobs (not the corn), celery, a bay leaf, and about three shakes of thyme. Add water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

    Making shrimp stock

    Making shrimp stock

  5. Strain the shrimp stock into a boil and set aside. Discard all the shells and vegetables bits.

  6. Rinse out the pot (or you could use two pots, but then you have to clean more things), then put it back on the heat and add the tablespoon of butter. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring regularly, for two minutes.
  7. Add tomato paste. Mix together well with corn and cook two more minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. Whisk flour into the wine. The original recipe calls for only 3 tbsp of flour, but I find that it’s a very thin bisque then so if you like it thicker, add more flour in this step,.
  9. Pour the flour slurry into the pot and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
    This part tastes really good. Eat some corn/tomato/wine mix while you cook.

    This part tastes really good. Eat some corn/tomato/wine mix while you cook.

  10. Add shrimp stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for four minutes. The bisque should start thickening.
  11. Add chopped shrimp pieces, cook 3 more minutes.
  12. Add half-and-half, stir, and serve immediately.

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