Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe

Hey, can you keep a secret? Good, because you'll be the one getting all the culinary credit if you do. Here's the secret: seafood bisques, like lobster bisque or a great shrimp bisque like this one are not hard to make. At all. Sure, they seem fancy, perhaps even like a soup relegated exclusively to professional chefs plying their trades in restaurant kitchens, but they're not hard to make at home. But when you make this shrimp bisque recipe, you don't need to tell anyone how easy it was and instead enjoy the "oohs" from your impressed guests.

Or you can give that credit to chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge, who readily says of her shrimp bisque: "This is pretty easy, thankfully." But she does point out one mistake too many people make that can sink the whole soup: "Be sure to add the cream last — don't get tempted to add all the ingredients together as the cream will curdle," she explains. "I know people are short on time nowadays, but waiting really does add to the texture." Besides, you'll only have to "wait" a half hour from start to finish with this soup, so let's dive right in!

Gather your ingredients to make shrimp bisque

Chances are good that you have most of the ingredients needed to make this soup on-hand already. All told, you'll need a potato, a carrot, a yellow onion, 2 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of salt, ¼ tablespoon of black pepper, about 12 ounces of fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined), 3 cups of vegetable stock, two bay leaves, ½ cup of heavy cream plus extra for serving, and some optional (but recommended!) chopped parsley for garnishing the bowls.

Peel and chop your veggies

Begin the recipe by peeling and dicing the potato into approximate ½-inch cubes, removing the skin from the onion and roughly chopping it, and peeling then cutting the carrot into ½-inch coins. You don't have to be all that precise with your chopping as everything ends up in a blender, but rather uniform pieces will cook more evenly. Then, place the butter into a pot, followed by chopped potatoes, chopped carrots, chopped onion, the salt and pepper, and the shrimp.

Simmer everything except the cream

Now add the vegetable stock, pouring it atop all of the other ingredients, and finally add the pair of bay leaves to the pot. Next, put the pot on a burner and bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat, cooking it for 25 minutes on a low-medium heat so that it stays a steady simmer. You can partially cover the pot, but don't fully cover it. Remember, as Olayinka noted, you don't want to add the cream just yet! Simply allow the rest of the ingredients to simmer, and we'll get to adding the cream in a bit.

Add the cream and blend

After the 25 minutes of simmering are up, take the pan off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and carefully pour the soup into a blender. Add the heavy cream (reserving a bit for serving), put the top securely on the blender, and blend the soup on high for 10 seconds. If you have a hand or immersion blender, you can by all means do the blending in the pot.

Now distribute servings out into a bowl, top the soup with optional extra shrimp (you can pan cook chopped shrimp in butter in about a minute flat), optional chopped parsley, and dollops of heavy cream. Just like that you have creamy, hearty shrimp bisque — it really is pretty easy to make, isn't it?

Simple Shrimp Bisque Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
This shrimp bisque is creamy, flavorful, and comes together in a breeze.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of bisque
Total time: 32 minutes
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ tablespoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh shrimp
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup heavy cream, plus 3 teaspoons for serving
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped parsley, for serving
  1. Begin the recipe by peeling and dicing the potato, carrot, and onion into ½-inch cubes (or coins for the carrot).
  2. Place the butter into a pot followed by chopped potatoes, chopped onions, chopped carrots, salt, pepper, and shrimp.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaves to the pot.
  4. Cook for 25 minutes on a low-medium heat.
  5. After 25 minutes, cut the heat, remove the bay leaves, and transfer the soup into a blender.
  6. Add heavy cream and blend on high for 10 seconds, then pour servings into bowls, top with optional extra shrimp (cooked separately), chopped parsley, and a dollop more of heavy cream.
Calories per Serving 387
Total Fat 25.6 g
Saturated Fat 15.5 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 224.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Total Sugars 4.7 g
Sodium 1,229.0 mg
Protein 18.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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