The flavour for bisque comes from the shells of shellfish, making it a very economical soup. Whenever you peel prawns for a dish, freeze the shells and heads until you have enough to make this delicious soup, you’ll need the shells from about 18 large prawns.
Serves 6 as an entrée
1 red onion, chopped
500g green prawn shells
¼ cup plain flour
400g canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 litre chicken stock or water
½ cup cream
Salt flakes & freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon brandy
Chervil leaves, for garnishing
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and cook onion until soft but not coloured. Add prawn heads and fry until they turn red, crushing them with a meat mallet or wooden spoon as they are frying; crush well to extract as much flavour as possible.
Add flour and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until flour is cooked out. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes break down. Add wine and stir until boiling. Add stock and return to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Strain, pushing through a fine sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the liquid to a clean saucepan, add cream and simmer to heat through. Taste, stir through salt, pepper and brandy, and serve garnished with chervil.
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