Monday, March 29, 2010

Butternut Shrimp Bisque

Ingredients for the bisque:
3 T unsalted butter
2 cups diced yellow onion
1 bay leaf
4 cups butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes)
2 cups peeled fresh shrimp
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup shrimp stock*
6 cups heavy whipping cream

*Preparing the shrimp stock:
Place shrimp heads and shells into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain.

Preparing the bisque:
Heat the butter in a heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions become soft and clear, 3-4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add the butternut squash. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to soften, 6-8 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the shrimp, salt, cayenne, and white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp turn pink, 2-3 minutes.

Add the shrimp stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the pan, scrape it with a spoon and continue cooking. This will intensify the flavor of the bisque.

Remove bay leaf and discard. Transfer the squash/shrimp mixture to a food processor and puree. Return the puree to a saucepan and add the cream. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serves 6


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