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A classic bisque is prepared by pureeing the shells with the soup. It creates an intense flavor and also acts as a thickening agent.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2009
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  • Lundy15
    3 MAR, 2018
    We followed this recipe to the "T". We live on the Gulf Coast and used fresh shrimp. We think it is Martha's revenge on mankind for sending her to jail ! The shrimp flavor is intense but the presence of ground up shells does not make for a good experience. We thought i was under seasoned so we added additional balsamic vinegar, more cognac and some dry sherry. We also added some red pepper flakes. Even with the shells pulverized in a strong blender, the soup seemed thin. I quickly made small roux with butter and some flour. I added the soup mixture to the roux gradually. We also used heavy cream instead of evaporated milk. So by the time we were ready to eat, my S.O. thought it would be more palatable to throw in some fresh crab meat so the ground up shells in the soup were not so obvious, so he went back to town. After he returned we figured that we had about $40 in that pot of soup. The cognac alone was about $25 for the half pint and we used half of it. We laughed and laughed about what big suckers we were for making this recipe. And when we were finally eating, after adding $23 of crab meat, my funny S.O. said "well it is OK, ...I guess we don't have to beat the s#&! out of Martha after all." Do yourself a favor and go out to eat. You will save money and have a better meal !!
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