Shrimp-and-Corn Bisque


Emeril Lagasse, star of Food Network's The Essence of Emeril, uses a rich, homemade shrimp stock here, which makes all the difference in this creamy, corn-flecked shrimp soup. Warming Soup Recipes

Shrimp-and-Corn Bisque
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
8 to 10


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 pounds large shrimp (—shelled and deveined, shells reserved)

  • 3 carrots (cut into 1/2-inch dice)

  • 3 celery ribs (cut into 1/2-inch dice)

  • 3 onions (cut into 1/4-inch dice)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup brandy

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 6 whole black peppercorns

  • 4 tarragon sprigs (plus 2 tablespoons chopped leaves)

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 3 garlic cloves (smashed)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 10 cups water

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups corn kernels (from 6 ears)

  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Add the reserved shrimp shells and cook over moderately high heat until they turn pink, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and one-third of the onions; season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the brandy and cook until it has reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the vegetables are well-coated, about 2 minutes. Add the peppercorns, tarragon sprigs, thyme, garlic, bay leaves and water and bring to a simmer. Cook until the shrimp broth is very flavorful and has reduced to 8 cups, about 45 minutes. Strain the shrimp broth into a large bowl and discard the solids.

  2. Wipe out the soup pot. Add the butter and melt over moderate heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the remaining onions and the corn and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the reserved broth. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate. Add the shrimp and cook until white throughout, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the chopped tarragon and serve.

Suggested Pairing

The full-bodied Chardonnays of California's Central Coast, particularly from the relatively warm vineyards of Santa Barbara County (where wine grapes have been grown since 1782), combine tropical fruit flavors with a silken texture that's an ideal complement to this velvety shrimp bisque.

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