Seafood bisque

A seafood bisque has a deep, luxurious flavour, this comes from cooking prawns in their shells, as well as fish fillets, into a stock which is then blended (shells and all) into a smooth, silky soup.

  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8
  • Print


Seafood bisque
  • 1.5 kilogram uncooked king prawns
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 litre (8 cups) water
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
  • 800 gram firm white fish fillets, skinned
  • 400 gram canned crushed tomato
  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120g) crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, extra


Seafood bisque
  • 1
    Shell and devein 8 prawns, keeping tails intact; place shells and heads in a large bowl. Reserve shelled prawns in a small bowl; cover, refrigerate, until required. Add remaining unshelled prawns to large bowl.
  • 2
    Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over high heat; cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion begins to soften. Add prawn mixture; cook, stirring 5 minutes or until prawns change colour. Stir in herbs and paste. Add the water and wine; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add fish; simmer 20 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally with a ladle to remove scum.
  • 3
    Remove fish from stock; cover until required.
  • 4
    Increase stock to medium heat, add tomatoes and potatoes; season. Cook for 40 minutes or until soup has reduced slightly. Cool 10 minutes.
  • 5
    Blend soup, in batches, until smooth. Push blended soup through a fine sieve into a clean medium saucepan over heat; return to the boil.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; cook reserved prawns for 1 minute each side or until just cooked through.
  • 7
    Stir crème fraîche and juice into soup; season to taste. Ladle soup into bowls; top with flaked fish, prawns and extra chopped parsley.