You'll love how this Shrimp Bisque recipe incorporates making a super quick stock with your shrimp shells so you can get that delicious, bold flavor you want in a seafood soup. Plus, it comes together in about 30 minutes.
In a large pot, combine the water, beef stock, and bay leaf over high heat. Peel and devein the shrimp, and once the water mixture is boiling, throw in the shells only (set the shrimp aside). Lightly boil the shells for 15 minutes.
Strain the shrimp broth through a fine sieve into a glass bowl or measuring cup. This will be the base of your soup. Discard the shells.
Wipe out the pot and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook while stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes (until it softens but does not brown). Add the raw shrimp and tomato paste to the pot and cook until they are pink and firm, another 3 or 4 minutes.
Return the shell broth/stock to the pot along with the salt and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Puree the soup using a handheld (or counter top) blender, stir in the cream, and serve warm. Top with fresh thyme if desired.