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Mexican Shrimp and Corn Bisque Recipe


  • 1 1/2 pounds medium (26 to 30 count) shrimp, with shells
  • 3 cups bottled clam juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 tablespoons (1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib with leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced (1/4-inch) chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus additional for garnish, if desired
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

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1. Peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Coarsely chop shrimp, and then cover and refrigerate. Bring shrimp shells, 1 quart water, clam juice, parsley, thyme and peppercorns to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Strain and reserve liquid.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, red pepper and garlic, and then cover. Cook until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir well. Whisk in reserved cooking liquid, sherry and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low and cook until lightly thickened, about 3 minutes. (The soup can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead, and then cooled, covered and refrigerated. Reheat to simmering over low heat.) Stir in reserved shrimp, corn and heavy cream and cook just until the shrimp turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer soup to a warm soup tureen.

3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Top each serving with a drizzle of cream, if desired, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve hot.

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