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.
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.