Shrimp and Pumpkin Bisque


Traditional shellfish bisques are thickened with rice, but instead this recipe is made using pumpkin as the thickener.  Not only does this lower the carbs, but it also add vitamin A and other health benefits of eating vegetables. This dish could be served for a first course in the fall, or paired with a crab cake or vegetable pizza (Mushroom, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza)

Ingredients:
·         1 pound large shrimp
Shrimp Stock
·         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
·         3/4 cup dry white wine
·         3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
·         2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
·         1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
·         2 bay laurel leaves
·       2 tablespoons Old Bay
·       10 fresh sage leaves, plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage.         
·          2 cups pumpkin purée,
·         1/2 cup half-and-half
·         Salt
·         1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for heat)
·         1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Directions for Shrimp Stock: Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells.

Cover the shrimp and refrigerate. 

Heat the olive oil in a stock pan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the shrimp shells to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn deep orange and are just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
(Note: shells should have lots of toasty shrimp aroma.) 

 

Add the wine to the pan, then boil it over medium heat until all the liquid is evaporated.





Add the chicken stock, celery, onion, bay leaves, and whole sage.





Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Partially cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Strain the stock through a fine strainer, pushing down on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Pour the stock back into the large pan.

Soup: Whisk the pumpkin, cream, salt (optional), and cayenne into the shrimp stock.

Bring the soup to a simmer, then cook very gently uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and season with black pepper and more salt if needed.
For the Shrimp: Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan placed over medium heat. When hot, add the reserved shrimp and chopped sage and cook, tossing often, until the shrimp is just cooked through, pink, and no longer translucent, but not curled  (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Make sure your soup is at a simmer (or bring it back up to temperature) then ladle it into bowls. Place the shrimp on the warm soup and chopped sage. 



Serve immediately (and I recommend it with bread, or a mushroom, spinach, and goat cheese pizza.) 

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