For an extraordinary, unusual, and delicious soup, try our Fennel Bisque with Dublin Bay Prawns. Serve accompanied by sliced Irish Brown Bread spread with creamery butter. Garnish with a few drops of cream and fronds of fresh fennel.
- 1 1/4 pounds prawns, whole (or jumbo shrimp)
- 3 Tablespoons 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
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine
- 1/4 Cup brandy
- 2 Tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 litre fish or seafood stock
- 1/2 Cup light cream or half 'n half
- brown bread, buttered, to serve
- Shell the prawns and reserve cracked shells in a bowl in the fridge.
- Heat a large sauté pan over a medium high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of butter to the pan and fry the shells for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter and gently fry the shallots, carrot, fennel, and thyme for 10 minutes until completely softened.
- Increase the heat then add in the wine and brandy and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes before adding in the tomato puree, fish stock and bay leaf. Add the reserved prawn shells back to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Pass the bisque through a sieve into a pot. Place back on the heat and stir in the cream. Bring the liquid to a steady simmer and season to taste.
- Fry the prawns in a little butter for 2 to 3 minutes until just cooked.
- Serve the soup warm with a few cooked prawns and garnish with fennel fronds.
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