Squash and Shrimp Bisque
- 1 lb (454 g) shell-on shrimp (uncooked)
- 1/4 lb (115 g) white fish with skin and bones (such as halibut, haddock or cod)
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pastis (such as Pernod)
- 5 cups (1.25 litres) water
- 1 bouquet garni (see recipe)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) peppercorns
- 1 pinch saffron (optional)
- 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste
- 3 cups (750 ml) peeled and diced butternut squash
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) 35% cream
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh tarragon
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the shrimp, keeping the shells aside.
- Chop the shrimp shells, fish and 4 shrimp in a food processor.
- In a saucepan, sauté the chopped shrimp mixture, carrot, celery, onion and garlic in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter for about 2 minutes. Deglaze with the pastis. Add the remaining ingredients. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing firmly. Set aside.
- In the same saucepan, soften the leek in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) the butter. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the fish stock and squash. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. In a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Add the cream. Adjust the seasoning.
- In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the shrimp in the oil until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the bisque into bowls. Garnish with shrimp and sprinkle with tarragon.
Instead of sautéing the shrimp, you can add them raw to the bisque. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes depending on size.
It’s easy to make a bouquet garni: simply tie together sprigs of fresh herbs from your garden or the market.
All you have to do is make a tight bundle of sprigs of parsley, thyme, rosemary and summer savory, about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long by 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick. Add 4 or 5 dried or fresh bay leaves and tie the whole bundle with kitchen string.
Hang to dry or use fresh.
Perfect for flavouring soups, broths and stews.