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Shrimp & Corn Bisque
With all soups, I prefer using a homemade stock instead of water. I'm including my shrimp stock recipe here.

For a lighter version, make a soup instead of a bisque by omitting the cream. Spike it with a little spicy Bloody Mary mix for extra flavor.

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Shrimp Stock:
Shells from at least 2 pounds shrimp (save shrimp for bisque)
cajun seasoning
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, sliced
4 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
2 tbs tomato paste
2 quarts water (8 cups)
10 black peppercorns
1 tbs whole dried thyme

In a deep pot, saute the shrimp shells over medium heat. Season well with cajun seasoning. Add the veggies and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add wine and let reduce by half. Stir in tomato paste. Add water and seasonings. Let it come to a boil, the reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes. NOTE: you can use the heads of the shrimp for this, but I prefer not to. It can become "too shrimpy."

After simmering, strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Press the liquid out of the veggies with a fork.

Shrimp & Corn Bisque
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion or shallot (not green onions, shallots are the little purplish onions)
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups fresh sweet corn (or thawed frozen sweet corn)
6 cups shrimp stock
2 pounds shrimp
cajun seasoning
pinch of sugar (optional)
1 cup cream
shredded white cheese for optional garnish

In a large pot, make a blond butter roux by combining the butter and flour over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, keep stirring the roux until it gets nice and bubbly, about 5 minutes. You want to cook out the raw flavor of the flour but not brown the roux.

Add the chopped onion and stir well, cooking for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add the corn and saute with the roux for another 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the shrimp stock and whisk into the roux, smoothing out any lumps. Add the rest of the stock. Stir well, let it come just a boil, then let simmer 20 minutes or until corn is as tender as you like. I prefer al dente, not mushy.

Season the shrimp with a little cajun seasoning (I also add a little ground coriander and tarragon) and add them to the pot. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Check for seasoning. A pinch of sugar always goes nicely with a tomato broth, and I usually add it. Add any hot sauce now, if you want. Taste one more time to check your seasoning.

Turn off the heat and slowly whisk in cream. Substitute your favorite (non-alcoholic) Bloody Mary mix for a lighter version. It won't be creamy, but it will still be good.

It's ready to serve. I like to garnish with a little shredded farmer's cheese.