Seafood Bisque

Make this rich and decadent Seafood Bisque, laden with shrimp and crabmeat and garnished with flavorful croutons, the star of your next teatime meal.

Seafood Bisque
Serves: 10 (½-cup) servings
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton seafood stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) container lump crabmeat
  • Butter-Herb Croutons (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh thyme
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut shrimp in half lengthwise. Place in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil and butter together over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add wine, and simmer until volume is reduced by half, approximately 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in tomato paste until well combined. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in seafood stock until combined. Add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat until mixture comes to a simmer, and cook for 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain stock into a large, heatproof bowl, discarding solids. Return strained soup to pot. Add salt, pepper, and shrimp. Bring to a simmer and cook just until shrimp turn opaque and pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream until combined.
  4. Divide crabmeat evenly among individual servings of soup. Top with Butter-Herb Croutons. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired. Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Tip: Soup can be prepared a day in advance, strained, placed in an airtight container, and refrigerated. Gently reheat soup in a stockpot on stovetop before seasoning and adding shrimp or cream.

Butter-Herb Croutons
Cubes of Italian bread—slightly stale bread is easier to cut than fresh—tossed in a mixture of butter, fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt are baked to crispy perfection for croutons that are great on soup or salad.
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 (½-inch-thick) slices Italian bread, cut into small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together butter, thyme, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together cubed bread and butter mixture until bread is well coated. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until cubes are golden brown and crisp, 6 to 9 minutes, stirring halfway through. Use the same day.