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Shrimp and Crab Bisque

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

About 6 dinner party portions


  • ½ stick (2oz) butter or olive oil, but butter is richer flavored
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ribs or stalks of celery, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 c waterGluten-Free Shrimp and Crab Bisque
  • 1 x 8oz can no salt tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free chicken stock concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tomato ketchup
  • coffee filter filled with ½ teaspoon dry thyme, 1 bay leaf, some fresh parsley stalks and tied shut
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • grated rind of ¼ lemon
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 1/3 lb cooked, peeled salad shrimp.
  • 2 x 6 oz cans of crab meat, well drained, or 8 oz fresh or frozen crab, thawed
  • dash of fresh nutmeg
  • dash of cayenne pepper (if you like a bite to your soup)
  • Fresh, chopped parsley to garnish.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water


  1. Melt butter in a 3 quart non-stick pan. Add onions, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, covered over a low heat, for about 10 minutes until they soften. This is known as “sweating” the vegetables and allows more flavor to develop rather than just cooking them immediately in stock.
  2. Add the water, tomato sauce, stock, ketchup, coffee filter of herbs and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook covered for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove herb packet and then use an immersion blender and puree the vegetable and stock mix directly in the pan. (You can also pour into a blender or food processor and puree.)
  4. Add the lemon rind, nutmeg, cayenne (if desired), cream and cornstarch mix.
  5. Add sherry and bring back to just under a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add thawed shrimp, drained crab and simmer for 1 minute.
  6. Turn off heat, add parsley and let sit for a few minutes. You don’t want to boil any soup with a milk mix added as it can break up. Too much heat will also toughen the shrimp and also will prevent you from appreciating the flavor of the soup.
Tips & Alternatives: Don’t use imitation crab. You could also substitute the containers of frozen lobster. Substitute ½ – 1 cup of Chardonnay for the stock. Don’t chop raw vegetables in a food processor, as they will be chopped too small for the immersion blender to puree them. The heavy cream is the finale, and is what makes it taste like a lavish restaurant dish. If you’re lactose intolerant, use unsweetened coconut milk. The dish will not be as rich, but still very good.

Note: Always check the label to ensure ingredients are gluten-free.


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