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Prawn bisque with cognac by Nikki Legon

Prawn bisque with cognac by Nikki Legon

Prawn bisque with cognac...

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Serve 6

2 red onions, chopped very finely

30 large raw prawns, black tiger prawns are ideal (if frozen defrost before using)

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp tomato purée

150ml cognac

1 litre vegetable or fish stock

120ml cream

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 tsp paprika

1 tomato, peeled, deseeded and chopped

2 knobs of butter and a splash of oil

salt and pepper

chopped parsley or basil to decorate




Peel the prawns and reserve the shells but discard any whiskers.

Put the heads and tails into a pan, add 300ml of water and cook till the shells turn pink.

Discard the heads and tails. Place all the shells and liquid into a blender, blend well and push through a sieve to extract the juice.

Cook the onions on a medium heat until soft then add the prawn juice.

Add the garlic and tomato purée and cook for a further two minutes.

Turn up the heat to high, add 100ml of the cognac and flambé.

Once the flames have gone out, turn the heat down to a simmer.

Add the stock, cream, carrots and paprika, simmer for 30 minutes adding the chopped tomato and half of the prawns after 15 minutes.

Again, blend until smooth then, using a large sieve over a bowl, stir through the juices.

Melt a little butter and oil in a frying pan, add the remaining prawns, season and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the remaining cognac and flambé.

Slice the prawns into slivers.

Pour the hot bisque into your bowls and decorate with the chopped prawns and parsley or basil.