Just to give you a little preview of where this is heading, other titles I considered for this blog were: Trail of Shrimp Bisque Tears, Shrimp Bisque Down the Drain, and Shrimp Bisque Gruel.
It all started out innocently enough. Shrimp bisque sounded like a lovely dinner and it is listed in Martha Stewart Living February in the index under “main dishes”.
Veggies and Shells
So I peeled my shrimp and roasted the shells. That sounded like it would give some nice flavor. I cooked the shrimp, then cooked my vegetables (fennel, carrots and shallot). No problems. I added the shells to the mix, then added tomato paste, then cognac, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf and parsley. By this time I was getting tired of this dish, but I brought it to a boil and let it simmer the required 25 minutes, then cooled it. By this time, half the day has gone by.
The next step is to puree it in a blender and then strain it. Here’s where things got a little wild. I decided to use the Cuisinart to puree. So there I am, emptying the pot into it, when I realize all the soup is running out the bottom of the Cuisinart bowl!!!! I have no idea why. We just bought a brand new bowl for that Cuisinart and it’s never leaked before. I quickly rip the bowl off and dump most of it back in the pot. Then I have this
giant mess all over the counter to clean up – which is when I realized it had dripped down onto my feet. I did have the presence of mind to stop and take a photo partway through the clean up, just because it was oh so much fun.
It was right about at this moment that the dog chose to throw up. Please can someone explain to me why dogs MUST throw up on carpet? We’re in the kitchen with a big open floor with just a couple rugs around and the dog has to throw up on the carpet.
So I clean up both messes and decide to dig the blender out to give the pureeing another try. Of course the blender is too full, and the soup starts to run out the top. This is where I start to think this recipe is just cursed. So I quickly dump some out and try again. I strain it, and puree the
Straining the Puree
rest and strain that.
Now what I am left with is a pot full of very, very thin broth. In my book, shrimp bisque is a thick, creamy soup with actual pieces of shrimp. I didn’t understand why the recipe says to strain it – all the good stuff got strained out. But I decided to have patience because I wasn’t done yet.
Martha then says to heat it up, but don’t let it boil. Then add the evaporated milk. Once that is heated, you ladle the soup into bowls and put some pieces of cooked shrimp in the bowl (they promptly sank right to the bottom so you can’t see them in the photo).
The Final Product
By this point I am tired of this damn soup and am very, very hungry. I even broke out my nice cobalt soup bowls and matching plate set for this. We sit down to eat it and it is like dishwater. No flavor, no consistency, just nasty, tasteless dishwater.
I think this may be the absolute worst Martha recipe I have ever made. The entire thing was dumped down the drain and we had cereal for dinner.
This soup has so many things wrong with it. It needs to be much, much thicker. It needs pieces of shrimp. It needs some actual flavor. It needs a complete extreme makeover to even be worthy of putting in a bowl. Just writing about it is making me mad, mad, mad. Excuse me while I go change my socks.