About this recipe:This sophisticated bisque feels like the ultimate luxury. Serve it in late summer when sweet, aniseed-flavoured fennel is in abundance.
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bulb of fennel, finely sliced
3 tbsp plain flour
600 ml semi-skimmed milk
425 ml fish or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
225g cooked, peeled frozen prawns, thawed and drained
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fennel fronds to garnish
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:25min › Ready in:40min
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and gently cook the onion and fennel for 5–8 minutes, to soften but not colour. Sprinkle on the flour, and cook for a further minute.
Remove from the heat, and blend in the milk and stock. Return to the heat, bring to the boil, add the bay leaf, then cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, add half the prawns, then purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste.
Roughly chop the remaining prawns. Reserve a few for garnish, then add the rest to the soup with the diced tomatoes and the lemon juice. Heat through gently, then serve garnished with the reserved prawns and fennel fronds scattered over the top.
*There's no need to pay a premium price for extra large king or tiger prawns. The small Atlantic variety is fine for flavouring a soup. *To serve chilled, stir in the chopped prawns and tomatoes just before serving.