Butternut Squash And Shrimp Bisque

This great wintertime soup has been a specialty at Brigtsen’s since the restaurant opened. It’s rich and convincingly peppery. The recipe calls for a little shrimp stock, which you can make from a cup or two of shrimp shells and heads with a little onion and celery, simmered for a half hour and strained. You could use any other seafood stock or just water if you don’t have the makings of stock handy. I’ve scaled the recipe back a little to use just one two-pound (or more) squash. This soup is also great made with fresh pumpkin in lieu of squash.

Butternut squash soup with shrimp

Butternut squash soup with shrimp

  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cups peeled fresh shrimp
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 heaping tsp. cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 cup shrimp stock (desirable but optional)
  • 5 cups heavy whipping cream

1. Heat the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions become soft and clear.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add the butternut squash. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to soften.

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

4. 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.

5. Remove bay leaf and discard. Transfer the squash/shrimp mixture to a food processor and puree with about 1/4 cup of the cream.

6. Return the puree to a saucepan and add the cream. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for a few minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve in pre-warmed bowls.

Serves six bowls.

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