Joe's Maryland Shrimp Bisque

"My husband's amazing creation... Shrimp, cream, sherry - how can you go wrong with that combo? Warning this is HIGHLY addictive, especially when paired with homemade Cuban bread."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins
19 10 oz servings




  • Pull heads off shrimp.
  • In 4 quart saucepan put 2 cans chicken broth.
  • Put shrimp heads in saucepan with broth.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minute.
  • Remove shrimp heads and discard.
  • Reduce liquid (to aprox 12 oz).
  • In frying pan saute thinly sliced shallots and crushed garlic with 1 tbsp butter then turn off heat.
  • Pour reduced chicken stock (from #7) in 8 quart stock pot then add shallots & garlic and stir, then slowly add sherry and stir, then add half and half while stirring and remaining butter.
  • Add all spices and turn burner on low.
  • Clean and de-vein shrimp then cut shrimp in half.
  • Add shrimp to soup.
  • Turn heat up a little (no more than 170 degrees - will curdle if heat is too high. If it does curdle strain out shrimp and put soup in blender and blend on high until re-mixed and smooth then pour back in pot and add shrimp again) and cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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  1. I just wanted to say thank you to Joe for this recipe. My husband loves shrimp in any form and I wanted to do something special for him. He absolutely loved this soup. I could not believe that I could not buy shrimp with heads on to make the shrimp broth. Since I did not have the heads to stew with the shells, I added some more vegetables to the broth that Emril uses in his broth. I used onion, carrot, celery, leeks, and shallots. I also used a full teaspoon of the herbs listed. I tasted the broth after 50 minutes and found that I had to add salt but I did not use as much as stated in the recipe due to our dietary concerns. I continued to reduce the liquid because I had more than what the recipe called for. This helped the flavor and at the end when I added the extra sauteed celery, onion, garlic and shallots, I added a tablespoon of Better than Bullion Chicken Base. Once the shrimp( on which I seasoned with Old Bay) were added, the soup tasted wonderful. My husband and I made this together and we both enjoyed making it and eating it. Thank you again. This one is a keeper.


Currently working as a mental health provider for the US Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan. I work in Deployment Health - counseling military members returning from war. I was a bartender for 13 years (so the move over to counseling was not too great a leap...) and when I have time, love to write. My passion is travel - especially to tropical locales and eating is also one of my favorite pastimes. As a result of the eating pastime, working out is one of my not- so-favorite, but very necessary, hobbies. I moved to Okinawa Japan 11 years ago (May 2006) and hope to be here until I get tired of the place (after that who knows?!). I love cooking but wish I had a sous chef and a dishwasher to do all the dirty work!
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