Sherried Shrimp Bisque

Sherried Shrimp Bisque

Christmas Eve Dinner: 48 hour Countdown: Make Shrimp Bisque

Thumbing through cooking magazines is amusing  bedtime reading material, especially at this time of the year. “Ho-Ho-Ho: Who are you kidding?”, I mumble, scrutinizing ambitious holiday menus that, supposedly, can be pulled off within the span of several hours. Does the cook get to eat?

The only way I can create a festive Christmas Eve Dinner is by beginning the prep work at least 48 hours in advance. Today I’m making Sherried Shrimp Bisque; this delicious
soup will be the appetizer and can be made 48 hours in advance to serving. It
will be the perfect complement to the Standing Rib Roast I’m making for our
Christmas Eve dinner.

There are many ways to thicken soups and bisques. Rice is often and traditionally used to thicken seafood bisques, and I  particularly enjoy the flavor and texture the rice brings to the bisque when  puréed with the other ingredients.

This is a deliciously rich and elegant bisque. So much so, I don’t like guests filling up on bisque before dinner. It’s fun to serve it in cognac glasses garnished with a speared shrimp while guests are  milling about. There is so much excitement surrounding gift-giving, it’s hard to contain the family around the dining room table.

Tomorrow I will be making Spinach-Stuffed Potatoes, another great make-ahead recipe that will complement the Standing Rib Roast.

Recipe: Sherried Shrimp Bisque


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, de-veined and tails removed, plus 1 extra shrimp for every serving to use as garnish
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 3 cups seafood stock*
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons long grain white rice
  • Cayenne, optional


  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add 1 pound shrimp & sauté 1 minute on each side. Remove shrimp & add celery, onion, carrot,a a pinch of kosher salt to pan. Sauté 8 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste to vegetables and sauté for two minutes.
  3. Add sherry to pan and bring to a low boil 2 minutes. Add 3 cups stock, dried thyme, cream and rice. Cover pot & simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  4. Purée soup in blender, then return to pan. Season with kosher salt if needed and cayenne, if desired.
  5. Before serving, sauté reserved shrimp in butter and sprinkle with parsley. Meanwhile, bring soup to simmer, stirring frequently. Ladle into bowls or cognac glasses & garnish with reserved shrimp.

*Boiled shrimp shells make a great stock; see my Bouillaibaisse recipe for tips on making or purchasing seafood stocks.

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 5 cups

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "All Appetizers"

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