Traditional Shellfish Soup Recipe

Shellfish soups or bisques are smooth, thickened with a roux or with rice and completed at the point of service with brandy, cream and knobs of butter. They are usually referred to as bisques. The name of the soup is determined by the type of shellfish used, i.e. lobster bisque, shrimp bisque, crab bisque, and so on.

Makes: 2 liters. Cooking time: 45 minutes.


— 75 grams butter, or
— 1 dl oil
— 750 grams prepared shellfish
— 100 grams carrots (roughly cut)
— 100 grams onions (roughly cut)
— 50 grams celery (roughly cut)
— parsley stalks
— 1 sprig thyme
— 1 bay leaf
— ½ dl brandy
— 2 liters fish stock
— 2 dl white wine
— 50 grams tomato puree
— 150 grams ground rice
— seasoning of salt and pepper
— 50 grams butter
— 1 dl cream


(1) Heat the butter or oil in a shallow pan, add the shellfish, vegetables and herbs and allow the shellfish to colour; cover with a lid and allow ingredients to cook in their own juices.
(2) Flambé with the brandy.
(3) Add the fish stock, white wine and tomato purée and allow to simmer for the prescribed time.
(4) Remove the shells from the fish and reserve some of the flesh for garnishing the soup. Crush the shells of the remainder of the fish and return to the cooking liquid; add the rice and cook for a further 15 minutes.
(5) Pass the soup through a coarse strainer, then through a fine strainer into a pan and reboil.
(6) Complete the soup with knobs of butter, cream and brandy and the garnish of diced shellfish
(7) Correct the color, seasoning, consistency, degree of smoothness if necessary, and temperature.

During the initial cooking of the shellfish, vegetables and herbs in their own juices some light frying and coloration of the vegetables is acceptable.