shrimp bisque that will warm your belly

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Today was the first rain of the year and I must say it was quite chilly for California weather. We are definitely getting some pretty cold weather in Los Angeles this year. So since the weather was so chilly, I decided to make a heart warming soup, my delightful shrimp bisque. It was the perfect dish to complement this cold weather! And what made it perfect is that while bisques usually leave you feeling heavy and not wanting to do anything, this was the perfect consistency of silkiness that just left you with a warm feeling on the inside. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Shrimp Bisque (4 servings):

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and butterflied
2 leeks chopped
5 celery sticks chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 3/4 cups shrimp stock
2 cups soy milk
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more if you like things spicy)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 dry bay leaf
1 tablespoon of olive oil

If using medium sized shrimp chop them in half. If using small shrimp then just leave them whole.

In a large pot heat olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the leaks and saute for 2-3 minutes. Afterward, add the celery and saute for another 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another minute. Finally, add the shrimp and saute for another 2 minutes.

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Afterward, add the sherry and let the sherry cook for 3-4 minutes to let all the alcohol burn out. Once the alcohol burns out, add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. While the tomato paste is cooking, mix together the shrimp stock and flour in a separate bowl. Whisk until all flour clumps have disappeared. Then add flour stock mixture to the pot. Finally, add soy milk.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the soup should have thickened and reduced slightly. Once it is thickened use and immersion blender and blend the ingredients. If you do not have an immersion blender place soup in a blender and blend. Serve immediately. Soup should be thick and silky.

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