Avocados are not only for guacamole anymore. Blended until creamy and added to this version of shrimp bisque, it becomes something truly delicious!
All my life, I have enjoyed the wonderful flavors of avocados. My two favorite recipes are guacamole and the avocado tomatillo sauce that my Mom always prepared for taquitos. Avocados were and still are, staple on our kitchen table, just like salt and pepper are to other families. We garnish our soups, eggs, salads and tacos with them. I guess you can guess that I really do love them. There are many great chilled soup recipes, but this was my first time using avocados to make a warm soup. They don’t cook for very long, so the fresh flavor comes through and it’s wonderful! Using the shrimp shells to make a broth is a trick I learned awhile back when preparing one of my favorite ceviche recipes. You get a subtle flavor of shrimp, not real strong. And for me, cooking the shrimp separate works well for this recipe. Otherwise, the seasoning on the shrimp gets lost when cooked it in the soup. My husband and I both agreed that this recipe is a keeper and I will be preparing often!
This was not my first time preparing a bisque-style soup, but it was my first time preparing a warm avocado soup. It was absolutely delicious! It was the smoothest and creamiest soup I have ever eaten.
For the Shrimp
1pound large shrimp cleaned and peeled (reserve shells)
Transfer the cleaned shrimp to a bowl. Add spices listed, Tabasco hot sauce and olive oil. Stir well to coat evenly, cover and set aside.
In a sauce pan, add the shrimp shells, 3 cups chicken broth, bay leaves, juice of 1 lemon, Cayenne pepper, 1/3 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Strain out the solids and reserve the broth.
In a soup pot, add the 2 tablespoons of butter and heat to medium. Add the onions, garlic and serrano pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the reserved chicken/shrimp broth and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Taste for salt.
In the blender, add the half and half, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of flour, chicken bouillon, 1 avocado and half of the second avocado. Blend on high until smooth and whisk into the simmering soup. Reduce the heat to medium/low and continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes.
While the soup is cooking and thickening, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet to medium/high heat. Stir-fry the shrimp for a few minutes or until pink. Cover and remove from heat. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and divide the shrimp on top of soup. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, lemon wedges and hot sauce.
A quick saute is all you need for the shrimp. It will continue to cook even after you remove it from the heat.
When adding milk, cream or sour cream to hot liquids, make sure it is not boiling or the dairy will curdle. You could also whisk in a couple of tablespoons of flour to the dairy before adding to the hot liquid. This will act as a thickener and also prevent curdling.