Tarragon Shrimp Bisque
A lovely start to an elegant dinner party, this puréed shrimp soup is dressed with tarragon, a splash of Madeira wine and thin slices of lemon. The addition of egg yolks makes this soup even thicker and creamier than most.
3 cups water
1 celery rib with leaves, chopped
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 small bay leaf
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 sprig fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 green peppercorns
1 pound medium shrimp, raw and unshelled
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Madeira wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 thin lemon slices
- In a covered saucepan, heat water with celery, onion, salt, bay leaf, garlic, parsley, thyme and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Strain broth, discarding solids, and return to pan. Bring back to a simmer, add unshelled shrimp, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp are opaque.
- Strain broth again, reserving shrimp, and return broth to pan once more. Stir in egg yolks; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Do not allow to boil. Remove pan from heat.
- Shell and devein shrimp, reserving 4 for garnish. Purée shrimp with broth in a blender or food processor. Stir in Madeira wine and tarragon; refrigerate to chill mixture thoroughly, at least 1 hour.
- Just before serving, stir cream into soup. Ladle into individual serving dishes and garnish with reserved shrimp and lemon slices.
Makes 4 servings.