Shrimp Bisque

Ryan Littman

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, San Antonio

Bisques tend to be rich and heavy, but chef Ryan Littman’s version is fresh, light,  and still full of flavor.


4 servings


Court Bouillon

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fennel
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, strained
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Generous 1 1/4 cup shrimp or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche for garnish
  • Small basil leaves for garnish
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined


To make the court bouillon, combine the water, white wine, lemon juice, onions, celery, garlic, black peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 8 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the court bouillon. Simmer until pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp from the pot. Set aside and let cool for 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the bisque, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots, fennel, and onions; sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with your hands, add them to the pot, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and let reduce by half, stirring frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender. Add the cream and the remaining butter. Purée until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

To serve, gently reheat the shrimp in a lightly oiled sauté pan for 2 minutes. Divide the shrimp among 4 soup bowls. Pour some bisque around each serving of shrimp. Finish with a dollop of crème fraîche, some basil leaves, and the remaining olive oil.