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Low Carb Shrimp Bisque

Low CarbKetoGluten FreeLCHF

This low carb shrimp bisque uses every part of the shrimp and has an unbeatable intense flavor! Keto, gluten free, and LCHF recipe.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

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How is a bisque different from a soup? Well, I consulted Wikipedia:

It is thought the name is derived from Biscay but the crustaceans are certainly bis cuits “twice cooked” for they are first sautéed lightly in their shells, then simmered in wine and aromatic ingredients, before being strained, followed by the addition of cream.

The key point here is “in their shells”. Back in 2009 when I lived in the UK, I was eating tapas in a restaurant with my aunt (sadly no longer with us) and I was moaning that the shells were on the shrimp and I'd have to peel them off – I didn't mind the effort but lots of amazing flavor was coated to the shells! She had a simple solution. Eat the shells. REALLY? She managed to convince me that in certain dishes it works to eat the shell. And, she added, you should try making a bisque, which uses the whole shrimp – head and all! A few days later she sent me her recipe. Cautiously, I tried it. I can honestly say it was fantastic!

So here is a low carb version of the recipe. I ran into three complications.

  1. Finding anywhere near me that had whole shrimp for sale – head and shell intact
  2. Working out the carb content of a shrimp shell, which isn't usually eaten
  3. Realizing that the shells are actually strained out before eating, so can't really be included in the nutritional data – or could they?

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

So, as long as you understand all these issues – here is an absolutely AMAZING shrimp bisque that you have to try. And if you can only buy shell-on, head-off shrimp, try the recipe anyway – it will still be good! I found mine in a European-Polish supermarket – 1lb of shrimp for just $4.99!

How to Make Low Carb Shrimp Bisque

In a large saucepan, add shrimp (shell on, legs, head, tails – the lot!), stock (fish, vegetable or chicken), Dijon mustard, onion powder, and tomato puree or canned tomato sauce. Mix well, bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

Let cool slightly, then transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

Press through a fine sieve – I wipe down the original saucepan, then put the sieve over the pan. Make sure you get every last drop of shrimpy goodness! Discard anything left in the sieve.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

Stir in some heavy cream, black pepper and a touch of brandy – if liked. Something like Madeira or Marsala would be an alternative to brandy. Reheat if necessary.

Meanwhile, I like to garnish the bisque with a couple of shell-on shrimp that I simply pan-fry. 

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

Pour the bisque into two bowls, add a swirl of cream, and garnish with the shrimp.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - an intense dish with an amazing savory flavor.

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque - amazing intense flavor! #lowcarb #lowcarbsoup #shrimpbisque Click To Tweet

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque

Low Carb Shrimp Bisque

Yield: Makes 2 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This low carb shrimp bisque uses every part of the shrimp and has an unbeatable intense flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw whole shrimp, shell on, head on
  • 2 cups broth (fish, chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs tomato puree or 2 tbs canned tomato sauce
  • 4 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tbs brandy, optional
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 additional whole shrimp, head removed, to garnish
  • Extra heavy cream, to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, add shrimp, broth, mustard, onion powder, and tomato. Mix well, bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly, then transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Press through a fine sieve - I wipe down the original saucepan, then put the sieve over the pan. Make sure you get every last drop of shrimpy goodness! Discard anything left in the sieve.
  4. Stir in some heavy cream and brandy (if using). Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Reheat if necessary.
  5. Meanwhile, pan fry the two additional shrimp for the garnish.
  6. Pour the bisque into two bowls, add a swirl of cream, and garnish with the shrimp.

Notes

Carb count is not precise due to the nature of the recipe.

Best estimation is 4g net carbs per serving (half the recipe).

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Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size Approx. 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 368Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 612mgSodium 2665mgCarbohydrates 4gNet Carbohydrates 4gFiber 0gProtein 32g
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Gini

Saturday 20th of October 2018

Just wondering if the shrimp are raw (white) or cooked (pink) before boiling? And would it make a difference to the end result?

Georgina

Saturday 20th of October 2018

Great question! I used raw shrimp, but I can't think of any reason why cooked shrimp wouldn't work. Normally the concern would be overcooking them - but I think this recipe might still work! If you try it with cooked whole shrimp - let me know how it goes!

Rick

Monday 21st of May 2018

I tried this over the weekend and while it was disturbing to throw away so much shrimp meat, it was a really delicious bisque. Thanks for the recipe!

Georgina

Monday 21st of May 2018

So glad you enjoyed it!

Vickie

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

My husband is lactose intolerant, so what can be substituted for the heavy cream?

Georgina

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

I guess you could try a lactose free milk that you like and a low carb thickener like xanthan gum, but I haven't tried it so I wouldn't be sure about quantities. Let me know if you make it!

Carole

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

After contacting you to inquire if I could shell the shrimp, and place the shells in the broth for easy removal, I decided instead to take a leap of faith and prepare the bisque exactly as you recommend above. Boy, am I glad I followed your directions. My husband was born and raised in New Orleans, so he recognizes good Louisiana food. He loved the soup, as did I. Neither of us had ever heard of preparing the dish as you described, but what a jewel of a recipe. One more thing, could you post the rest of the nutritional data beyond just the net carb count? Thanks so much for a delicious new addition to my recipe file.

Georgina

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

I'm so glad you tried it! Here's the rest of the data (per serving, based on two servings): Calories 167.7, Fat 12.0, Cholesterol 58.6mg, Total Carbs 4.3g, Fiber 0.3g, Protein 9.3g

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