Shellfish & Fennel Bisque | DonalSkehan.com, An sophisticated soup that takes very little effort but has fantastic results.
  • light-meals

Shellfish & Fennel Bisque

October 10

A sophisticated & rich shellfish soup which makes a great starter. This can be made with prawns, shrimp or langoustines. Be sure to pass the soup through a very fine sieve before serving.

  • serves Serves 4
  • time 45 mins


  1. 1. Heat a large sauté pan over a medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and fry the shells for 6-8 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. 2. Melt the remaining butter and gently fry the shallots, carrot, fennel and thyme for 10 minutes until completely softened.
  3. 3. Increase the heat then add in the wine and brandy and simmer for 2-3 minutes before add in the tomato puree, fish stock and bay leaf. Add the shells back to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
  4. 4. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass the bisque through a sieve into a pot. Place back on the heat and stir through the cream. Bring to a steady simmer and season to taste. Fry the prawns in a little butter for 2-3 minutes until just cooked.
  5. 5. Serve the soup warm with a few cooked prawns pan fried in butter for 3 minutes and fennel fronds.


500g prawns, whole

3 tbsp butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

100ml dry white wine

50ml brandy

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 litre of fish stock

100ml single cream

Brown bread with butter, to serve

De-shell (bash shells) the prawns and save in a bowl in the fridge.

You'll Need

Large sauté pan



Frying pan