Pea Bisque with Shrimp and Tarragon

This vibrant and velvety bisque, with its blend of split peas and baby peas, is delicately paired with shrimp and aniselike tarragon rather than the usual ham or bacon.

  • Servings: 6
Pea Bisque with Shrimp and Tarragon

Photography: Earl Carter

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2002


  • 1/2 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • One 10-ounce box frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped


  1. Place split peas in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 2 inches; let stand for 6 hours or overnight.

  2. Drain split peas, and transfer to a large stockpot. Add clam juice, water, and onion; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until peas soften, 35 to 40 minutes.

  3. Stir in baby peas, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let soup cool slightly. Place in the bowl of a food processor, working in batches, if necessary; puree until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a large saucepan, and keep warm over low heat.

  4. In a large bowl, stir together shrimp, garlic, lemon zest, paprika, and salt. Melt butter in a nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring, until they begin to turn pink and opaque. Add lemon juice, and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and stir in tarragon.

  5. Ladle bisque into six shallow soup plates, and place a mound of shrimp in the center of each serving.


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