My Dad surprised me by nabbing the last great corn of the summer at our local farmers market. The temperatures had dropped as low as 40F the last couple of nights so I wasn’t up for grilling (weak, I know, but true).
I was craving creamy, comfort foods, and good sourdough bread. This recipe jumped into my head and once it got there it was all I wanted. The resulting recipe was EXACTLY what I had been yearning for. Silky texture, plump well-seasoned shrimp, and ridiculously sweet white corn kernels at the top of my spoon and fresh scallions we re-sprouted from the garden to finish. Utterly perfect for the change of seasons.
Shrimp and Corn Bisque
12 tablespoons butter, divided
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can save the shells to make stock for another meal)
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
3/4 teaspoon gumbo/cajun seasoning, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, stem-removed and diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 medium-sized yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup of fresh, steamed corn (you can substitute frozen)
4 cups shrimp stock (you can substitute chicken stock)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Sliced scallions for garnish
In a large stockpot, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Melt over high heat for 1-2 minutes then add in the shrimp. Season the shrimp with half of the smoked paprika, gumbo seasoning, and garlic powder. Sear shrimp 1-2 minutes per side until just cooked through and golden brown. Remove to a side plate.
Next, add in 2 more tablespoons of butter and the remainder of your spices. Add in the celery, carrot, onion and bell pepper and saute until onion is translucent and all veggies have softened (about 5-7 minutes). Next, add in your garlic and potatoes and give a quick stir before adding in your stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potato is fork-tender (about 15 minutes).
Turn the heat to simmer. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Add in half your shrimp and half of your corn kernels and puree once more. Next, whisk in your milk and flour until smooth. The bisque should thicken with the flour (if you don’t like adding flour, you can always substitute an extra potato earlier into the cooking. My potatoes were smaller so I had to use the flour to compensate and get the thick consistency I wanted).
Finish by stirring in the remaining butter and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with the remaining shrimp and corn. Garnish with sliced scallions and a sprinkle of smoked paprika and serve with a nice crusty bread for mopping up the bowl after. Enjoy!