You know soup is good when you can eat it for three days straight and still love every last bite. That’s the kind of soup I made on Sunday. I have attempted seafood bisque a handful of times, but none of them held a candle to the versions I enjoyed at some of my favorite restaurants. My favorite bisque is very creamy with a strong hint of sherry, and without the unnecessary fillers like potatoes and corn.
This recipe for Marina Café Seafood Bisque proved to be just what I was looking for. I followed the directions almost exactly, except for when it came to the seafood. I used salmon and tilapia from my freezer and shrimp, scallops and crab legs which I had picked up at the market the previous day. Here is the original recipe. I’ve provided notes besides the ingredients to show you where I changed things up a bit to make it my own.
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 onion, diced (I used a full onion)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1/2 stalk of celery, diced (I used 2 stalks)
- 1 cup Italian tomatoes, crushed (I used 1 and ½ cups)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sherry (I probably used more like ¾ cup, adding more gradually while cooking)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cup heavy cream (I probably added an additional ½ cup)
- 1 quart milk (or as much as you need to get the consistency you like best)
- 4 oz. baby shrimp
- 2 oz. crawfish tails (I didn’t include these)
- 2 oz. lump crab meat (I used meat from crab legs)
- 1 cup clams, with juice (I just used about ¼ cup of clam juice)
- 10 oz. fish, diced (I used two pieces of salmon and two pieces of tilapia)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 bunch green onion, chopped (I used a full bunch)
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped (I used dried basil)
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
I also added about ½ cup of seafood cooking stock, found in the seafood department, and Old Bay Seasoning to the recipe.
Start by melting the butter in a heavy bottom pot. Sauté the onions, garlic, celery and tomatoes for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour until it is all incorporated. Slowly add the sherry, white wine, cream and milk, stirring continuously. This is also where I added some clam juice and seafood cooking stock.
Bring that to a slow boil and then add all the seafood ingredients, lemon juice, green onions, paprika and Old Bay seasoning. Bring the soup back to a slow boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until your seafood is cooked. Add the basil and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. I made homemade Lemon Rosemary Bread to accompany the soup. In hindsight, I may have included the clams which the recipe called for, but that’s just an excuse to make it again! What makes for a good bisque in your opinion?