Shrimp and crawfish combined with cajun and old bay spices give this seafood bisque its fabulous flavor. A pinch of cayenne adds the faintest zing that brings everything together.
Lately I’ve been craving a rich, hot, spiced bowl of soup. I knew I wanted a seafood bisque, but I could not decide on whether I wanted it with shrimp or crawfish. So I ended up adding both, and it came out exploding in flavour.
It is creamy, hearty, and satisfyingly thick without being too heavy. Egg yolks add a silky, velvety texture to this seafood bisque, but it’s important to introduce them carefully into the hot liquid by tempering them first; otherwise, the eggs turn into scrambled mush.
I love the combination of shrimp with old bay spice and crawfish with cajun spice – it is absolutely wonderful, but lobster and crab would work as well. When eating this seafood bisque with a loaf fresh crusty bread and a glass of wine, you feel like you’re traveling to a three different destinations all at once – first you stop by in Maryland, then straight to Louisiana, and then your final destination is an oceanside bistro in Provence.
- 2 lb cooked seafood meat (shrimp, crawfish, lobster, crab)
- 1 cup butter
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken or seafood stock (feel free to use the stock from cooking the seafood)
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 3 parsley sprigs
- bay leaf
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp old bay seasoning
- ½ tbsp cajun spice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 can creamed corn
- fresh baguette
- fresh thyme
- reserved seafood chunks
- In a heavy duty soup pot or a deep skillet heat butter.
- Add shallots with garlic and sauté for 12 min until golden brown.
- Add tomato paste and brown for 4 more min.
- Add the stock, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, cayenne, old bay, cajun, cream, half and half and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 min.
- Remove from heat and strain, returning the liquid back to the soup pot.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with corn starch until smooth.
- Add ¼ cup of hot bisque to the egg yolk mixture in quick steady stream, while whisking, then add the tempered yolks to the bisque.
- Place seafood bisque back on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the corn and seafood (reserve chunks for garnish). Blend the bisque with immersion blender to desired consistency.
- Continue to cook the bisque stirring until thickened, 1 about 0-15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with reserved seafood chunks and fresh thyme/chives.