Female. Lives in United States/Illinois/Chicago, speaks English. My interests are Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking/Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.
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United States, Illinois, Chicago, English, Female, Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking, Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Fresh Summer Soup: Avocado Shrimp Bisque

On Saturday I was looking through my freezer and spotted a bag of cooked shrimp that I bought at Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago. I had been eating the shrimp here and there alone or with some sort of dipping sauce, but I decided it would be nice to try and do something more fun with them. So I hopped on to one of my favorite sources for quick and easy recipes, Allrecipes.com, and found an interesting looking recipe for Avocado Shrimp Bisque.

The recipe on Allrecipes.com was provided by someone named William Anatooskin. I don't know William, but he sure did come up with an interesting and delicious soup. Here is the link to William's original recipe. Based on user comments from others and on my own preferences, I modified his recipe a bit. Here's how I made mine:

Avocado Shrimp Bisque
3 avocados
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/2 pound cooked fresh shrimp
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut avocados in half. Discard pits and spoon out the meat. Place all your avocado and about 90% of your shrimp into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Reserve the rest of your shrimp for later.

In a large saucepan, combine the avocado and shrimp puree, chicken broth, whole milk, lemon juice, chopped onion and pepper. Heat slowly to almost boiling, stirring frequently. Add the remaining shrimp and turn down the heat to low. Let the soup heat just long enough to get the newly added shrimp warm. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Soup may be served hot or cold. Serves 12.

It's very close to the original, but I altered William's recipe a bit by:
*pureeing most of the shrimp and all of the avocado first
*reserving some whole shrimp for addition later
*adding more pepper
*omitting the salt
*using a very large saucepan (it's a small, silly point...but my medium pan was practically overflowing and I had to switch in the middle of the recipe)

This is a very unique soup. I tried it both warm and cold this weekend and it works both ways. For summer, the chilled version is refreshing and feels particularly seasonal. The warm version feels truer to its bisque roots though and the creaminess of the bisque seems to come through more when served warm. So I'm on the fence about which is better...I think I'm going with warm but I'm sure I'll alternate between cold and warm as I eat what's left in the coming week.

Yes, we have leftovers. You see Win is not a fan of shrimp or avocado so this soup was a Linda and Lima creation. We girls will be polishing it off for the next couple days. On that note: This soup has a very distinct avocado flavor so I might hesitate to serve it to guests unless you know they are avocado fans. If they like avocado, they should adore this soup. If they don't like avocado, this probably won't be a hit with them. Something to consider when trying it out.

Another thing to consider: I used very reasonably priced, frozen, tail-off, ready to eat shrimp for this bisque and they worked wonderfully. Since I was pureeing most of the shrimp anyway, it would seem silly to go out and spend a fortune on fresh shrimp when the more economical kind work just as well in this particular case. I was happy to find out that they worked so well.

Delicious soup. My thanks to William Anatooskin for his submission to Allrecipes.com. It was just the kind of inspired use I was looking for for my shrimp.