Cooking Louisiana  -  Shrimp Bisque
Shrimp Bisque - A true Cajun treat.

Submitted by: L. Mouton - Lafayette, LA

1 lb. medium shrimp
3 tbs. margarine or butter
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup. white wine
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 lg. onion chopped
2 tbs. long-grain rice (uncooked)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 14-1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup Half-and-Half
1 tbs. brandy or dry sherry
Fresh chives for garnish

Shell and de-vein shrimp, reserve shells.

In 5 qt. Dutch oven (pot), melt 1 tbs. margarine or butter over medium heat. Add shrimp shells and cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add chicken broth, wine and 1/2 cup water; heat to boiling on high, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Strain broth mixture into small bowl, pressing on shells with a spoon to extract remaining liquid. Discard shells.

In same pot melt remaining 2 tbs. margarine or butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp to a small bowl. To pot add carrots, celery and onions; cook 10 - 12 minutes until lightly brown.

Return broth mixture to pot, add uncooked rice, salt, red pepper and bay leaf. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, or, until rice is tender. Add tomatoes with their juice and cook 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf and add shrimp.

In blender with center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend shrimp mixture in small batches until pureed and very smooth. Pour into large bowl after each batch. When done pour back into the pot and add Half-and-Half and brandy. Heat thoroughly over medium heat stirring. Do not boil, it may curdle!

Makes 10 cups or 10 first-course servings. Garnish with fresh chives. May also be served as a main dish.