Yesterday my heart exploded.

Apparently, the universe has decided to reward my inner 13-year old self by sending Boyz II Men, 98 degrees and New Kids on the Block out on tour. Like… an actual concert. Like an actual concert in my city. Like… I need to find some friends who actually want to go with me to this actual concert in my actual city.

Do you even REALIZE that half of my life is spent belting out On Bended Knee in my kitchen while I put things on french bread and call it pizza and make cupcakes because I’m too lazy to make a whole cake? Well – wait, okay. A large portion of my life is spent doing that and on most days you can replace On Bended Knee with anything by old school Mariah, Whitney Houston, TLC and/or En Vogue. And yeah yeah, I realize the 90s references are getting old but uh, that is my life. I cannot make this up. I’m about ten seconds away from breaking out my crimping iron (…still at my parents’ house…) and making a candy strip friendship bracelet. For you, of course! Because I love you. Times infinity for listening to (reading?) my incorrigible rambles.

Which brings me to… bisque. Which is really just a high maintenance soup, right? I don’t even know how someone obsessed with neon and sub-par boy bands can eat a classy soup, let alone make it herself and talk about it to her invisible internet friends. It doesn’t seem proper. It’s embarrassing and and befuddling.

I think that’s my new favorite word.

Sidebar: I just ate two cookies. I will tell you about them tomorrow. I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. I think the answer is to eat another cookies.

This recipe was not born from my brain at all – not by a long shot – the idea was sent to me by a reader (hi aaron!) who loves the asiago bisque a local shop near him serves. I have no clue if I even came close to the mark attempting to recreate such a delicious mess at home, but was easily sold on this whole asiago and soup thing. Two things I love. Yes yes.

How to explain it? ummm… it sort of melts in your mouth. The way that only shrimp and bisque can. It’s even better when you eat like three or four pieces of buttered talonica bread soaked in said bisque, alongside said bisque. With said (crisp) white wine.

But I would know nothing about that.


Asiago Shrimp Bisque

Yield: serves 4-6

Total Time: 1 hour


1 pound uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp, patted dry with a paper towel
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cleaned and trimmed leeks, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups seafood/fish stock
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup tomato paste
12 ounces asiago cheese, freshly grated
fresh chopped herbs for topping
crusty, toasted bread!


Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add in leeks with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper, tossing to coat and allowing to cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, shrimp and remaining salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until shrimp is pink. Add in the brandy and sherry, cooking for 5 more minutes then turn off heat.

Transfer the entire mixture to a food processor (or a large bowl first, whichever is easy), then pulse until the shrimp and leeks are coarsely chopped but not pureed. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat. Add in butter, and once sizzling add in flour, whisking well to create a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, then add in the half and half and heavy cream, stirring well until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Whisk in the stock, tomato paste and asiago, stirring until the cheese melts and the soup is smooth. Add the shrimp mixture back into the soup and reduce the heat to low, stirring well. Let sit over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. Taste and season additionally if needed. Serve with additional asiago, fresh herbs and toasted bread.

[slightly adapted from ina]

I mean, this soup has brandy in it. You should probably eat it.

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89 Responses to “Asiago Shrimp Bisque.”

  1. #
    Julie — January 23, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    I need to master this one in a major way. My husband and I had lobster bisque for the first time at this super fancy restaurant a million years ago and full completely in love (with the soup, we already liked each other a lot). And no bisque since has ever measured up.This could be the one!


  2. #
    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — January 23, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    I got to try Lobster Bisque for the first time at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak while I was in Vegas and it was ahmahzing. Like actually ahmahzing. So the fact that you pretty much read my mind and created an amazing bisque that I can afford is perfection.

    I am beyond excited to try it!


  3. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 23, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

    I love EVERYTHING about this recipe Jessica! I can’t wait to try said soup alongside a glass of said {crisp} white wine! :)


  4. #
    Tieghan — January 23, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

    Jessica, this looks amazing! I love it! Never tried shrimp bisque, but I think I HAVE to now!


  5. #
    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — January 23, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    This soup is just gorgeous, love the flavors.


  6. #
    Emily — January 24, 2013 @ 1:14 am

    Oh my gosh, I heard about the concert tour too and I’m so excited! I totally love 90s music! I also love your blog and all of your delicious recipes!


  7. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — January 24, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    Way to make cheese and seafood work! You rock.


  8. #
    Sarah — January 24, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    Question for you…..with the Cognac/Brandy is this a recipe where the quality of the spirits have a large impact on the deliciousness of the dish??? I’m not particularly familiar with either and can see myself going one of two ways 1) buying an neccessarily expensive bottle and only using it sparingly in recipes and have it get old and disgusting or 2) buying a really crappy version and ruining the bisque. Suggestions?? THANKS!!!


    • Jessica — January 24th, 2013 @ 8:01 am

      I pretty much stand firm in the belief not to put something in your food that you wouldn’t drink on it’s own… so that’s up to you. I do think the flavors make an impact, especially the sherry!


    • dawne — January 28th, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

      you could also just buy the “testers/one shot” bottles at the liquor store, then you don’t have to worry about having excess :)


  9. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — January 24, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    Did you see NKOTBSB?! That concert was amazing! I heard about this tour on the radio yesterday and actually got depressed because I will have a newborn. Bad mommy, to prioritize boy band over my baby!


  10. #
    kesha — January 24, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Oh WOW!!!!! This looks and sounds yummy! I will be making it soon! I have never heard of talonica bread. Where do I get it or how do I make it? It looks incredible and I love a good bread!


  11. #
    Donna — January 24, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    This is dinner Friday night…that’s all…Cannot wait to add the Cognac to the brew!!…Question…can I “roux” the day with arrowroot or potato starch (or?) to satisfactory effect?…Love the leeks, asagio…shrimp…This recipe positively SCREAMS make me!!!


  12. #
    Alyssa — January 24, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Do you think Cherry Brandy would go well in this bisque?? I just bought some for fondue and I have an ENTIRE bottle left! Also, how do you get your photos so crisp, clean and vibrant? What sort of light source do you use??


  13. #
    Amber — January 24, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    I love reading your post and I did not understnd why until this morning. Yesterday when I found out that New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees ad Boyz II Men doing a concert in my city, I did a happy dance adn immediately begain texting people that they were going to the concert with me. We are a kindred spirit, either that or we both gre up in the 80s/90s. The news made my day. And I love the receipe for the asiago shrimp bisque, can’t wait to try it this weekend.


  14. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — January 24, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    Wow this looks so comforting. The dry sherry just sounds unreal.


  15. #
    Jessica — January 24, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    This looks delicious! I love soup and this one looks like one I’d completely enjoy! And also I am soooo going to the concert. If only BSB and Nsync joined in. Though I’d prob die from boy band overload.. almost did at the NKOTBSB concert a couple years ago!


  16. #
    Crystal — January 24, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    I kinda thought it was a joke when i heard about this concert announcement. After finding out it is real (YES!!!!) 5 girlfriends and I are ready to go. Just imagine thousands of 30 year old women freaking out for these boy bands! Love it :)


  17. #
    Rachel @ The Pescetarian and the Pig — January 24, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    Definitely on board with you with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men. I missed the NKOTB generation by like, 2 years I think. They toured with Backstreet Boys (my ULTIMATE favorite) last year. Hooooottttt!!!!

    I saw the title of this recipe in my inbox and my heart skipped a beat for that! This sounds like the most amazing soup! i can only imagine how creamy it is, and it totally sounds like the sort you sop up everything in the bowl with a nice piece of bread. I want to drown all of my sorrows in this soup! ;)


  18. #
    sarah — January 24, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    i like how you said:
    I think the answer is to eat another cookies.
    singular? plural? we may never know.


  19. #
    kenzie king — January 24, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    Amazing recipe aside, I would TOTALLY go to that concert of the year! I looooooved Donnie from NKOTB. I must see this concert! Let’s go!


  20. #
    Megan — January 25, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    We are absolutely thrilled to try this recipe!!!!! We have been trying to recreate a local shrimp bisque for a while and this recipe seems perfect. Thank you so much for being such a creative chef! My husband and I LOVE you!!!


  21. #
    Megan — January 25, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    By the way, I forgot to mention I’m Aaron’s wife….the guy who suggested the recipe. He’s kind of freaking out excited right now haha!!! Thank you!!!


  22. #
    Karen — January 25, 2013 @ 1:33 am

    This soup looks amazing! Everything is better with a little more cheese


  23. #
    Henia — January 26, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    I tried this recipe with several substitutions – I didn’t have leek so I used shallots, I didn’t have brandy or sherry so I used Bourbon, I didn’t have asiago so I used Gruyere, I didn’t have fish stock so I used chicken stock… the results was amazing! rich with flavors and perfect for a very cold day in New England. Thank you for this recipe and many other.


  24. #
    Tracy — January 27, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    Made this tonight. Im in love


  25. #
    Jennifer — January 27, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

    I made this tonight!
    Had to substitute Brandy with Marsala Wine as I didn’t have any on hand, I also couldn’t put shrimp mixture through food processor as I couldn’t find it ( Mother seems to be the culprit) and yet, it still came out great!

    Next time, I’ll make with Brandy and get food processor from mother ahead of time! :)

    I also cut my thumb knuckle grating the asiago cheese ! lol …So my blood and sweat ( no tears) were literally in this dish :)


  26. #
    Yobana Rodriguez — January 30, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

    Lol! I was looking for a good shrimp recipe when I found yours! I was pleased to see your comment about the “Package Tour”! I am a huge Blockhead, so I’m super excited about it too! I hope you find people to go with! I’ve gone to all of the NKOTB tours and they are incredible!!!


  27. #
    marianne — October 7, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

    1. This looks absolutely amazing and I think I need to try it.

    2. I really, really hope that you found someone to go to that concert with you because I took my 29 year old self to their Chicago show and I died. I literally died and I am a ghost writing this. It was amazing and I cried and died happy.

    Thank you for all your delicious soup recipes!!! They are my obsession right now because, well, it’s Fall <3


  28. #
    Neha — November 23, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

    I made this last night and it’s really good! It turned out a bit too salty, but I was able to cut some of it with a little apple cider vinegar. Next time I think I will leave out the extra salt (apart from what’s already in the shrimp, cheese, and stock).



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