Prawn bisque

  • Preparation Time10 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
675g prawns , shelled and deveined, shells reserved
Finely grated orange zest, for garnish
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1L double cream
3 tablespoons plain flour
65ml brandy
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 strips orange zest
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 carrots, cut into big chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into big chunks
2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and rinsed well
115g unsalted butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1) Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and melt in the butter. Add the prawn shells, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, orange zest and tomato puree. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the shells are red and the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

2) Take the pan off the heat and carefully pour in the brandy. Ignite the brandy with a long kitchen match and let it burn until the flame subsides. Return the pan to the heat, sprinkle in the flour, give it a stir, and cook for another 2 minutes.

3) Now add water to cover and deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low and gently simmer until the soup is reduced and thickened, 30 to 45 minutes.

4) Strain the soup into a clean pan and season with salt and pepper. Chop the prawns. Return the bisque to a simmer, add the prawns and cook 2 to 3 minutes, just to cook the prawns through. Give the bisque a final taste for seasoning, pour it into warmed soup bowls and serve garnished with the orange zest and chives.

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