Seafood Bisque Hack

This is really more a quick recipe than a “hack,” but it seems every tip and hint is now a hack, so that’s what I’m going with. We’re going to dress up a pre-made soup with a couple ingredients and get an entrée (or soup course) that tastes like you worked so hard.

First, get lobster bisque. Panera sells a 16-ounce tub in the refrigerated deli section of supermarkets, but I’d suggest the Walmart Marketside version. It’s cheaper and by the time we doctor it up, any quality difference will be buried.

The two add-ins we need are some shrimp and a bottle of dry sherry. I’ve got a bag of frozen raw shrimp that come deveined and partially peeled, 40-50 to a pound. You can use them in pasta dishes or fried rice or on a salad. For this bisque, grab three or four if you’re making cups of soup or 10-12 is you’re making bowls. Thaw them, take off the rest of the shell, and sauté them until they’re cooked through.

Time to assemble. Get the soup hot, either on the stove or in the – Lord, help us – microwave. Stir in a splash of the sherry and then set your shrimp in the middle of the bowl. You’ll eventually stir them into the bisque when you eat it, but for now, the shrimp pile is more dramatic. Maybe hit the top of the soup with a little black pepper. That’s more for show than for flavor. You can skip that bit if you don’t like pepper.

That’s it. I believe you could sell a bowl of this for $10 at a restaurant – and I also know there are restaurants that do the same kind of thing. Buy a commercial clam chowder, add some cream and bacon, and now it’s “Chef’s Special Recipe.” You can tell everyone your recipe for seafood bisque came from that guy on tv!