Carrie’s Favorite Shrimp Bisque – the Perfect End to a Really Cold Day!

The Invitation
“It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk feeling like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful; to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else fails away.  If you can still conquer when all is lost and fly when your wings have been clipped.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”

For to these, I can honestly answer “yes”.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a fabulous time by myself ice fishing last Friday.  Sitting underneath that spectacular sky, taking in the beauty of the frozen landscape, the brilliants blue’s and the stark whites.  But fishing is always fun when done with company.

And on Saturday my husband Zach went with me.   He’d wanted to try fishing Big Cedar Lake in West Bend, Wisconsin so we headed over there.

We’d both been discussing ice fishing equipment, tactics and different things pertaining to the sport for the last few days, I had stated that I needed to purchase one of the black ice sleds, the day before I had used a regular sled and had strapped my gear down with bungee cords, while it worked, it didn’t work all that great.

Zach brought up the fact that we had a large cooler on wheels with a handle downstairs; he suggested we place as much of our gear in there as would fit – hopefully all of it.  Everything inside would be protected from the elements and in a container keeping anything from falling out.  Brilliant!!  It worked perfectly.

In the summer there is an older lady that rents rowboats for the day for a mere $15.00.  In the winter she offers the parking area for ice fishermen for $3.00 a person.  A very convenient option for the north side of the lake where there is no parking!

We were both nervous as we stepped out onto Big Cedar Lake, I had my hunting blind strapped to my back, and the auger was tied to the cooler which easily rolled over the humps and bumps of the ice.

We chose our spot and immediately started to set up.

The temp on the ice was 23 degrees and the 25 mph winds gusting up to 33mph made things a bit brutal.  The first thing we did was drill a hole, at the very least we wanted to get a tip up in the water, we could keep an eye on it as we set up the blind.  Easy enough my new auger worked like a charm, shaving the ice smoothly and bringing it up for the winds to blow neatly away.

As soon as I started setting up the blind we realized it wasn’t going to work, it was just too windy.  My poor ground blind was simply not cut out for the gusty winds that quickly turned it into a box kite.

We tried securing it to the cooler, we tried shoveling snow against it – nothing worked.  It was just too windy and my blind was just too light.

Packing it up we turned our attention back to the task at hand. We drilled a second hole to jig from and placing our backs to the wind, we used the cooler as a convenient seat.

Without a wind break we didn’t last very long, but we were having a blast, even as cold and wind burned as we were.  When we packed it in and headed back to the truck, we both were happy in the knowledge that we lasted a long time in some pretty harsh elements.  But I’ll tell you right now – I’ve never been more happy to have heated seats than when I plunked my frozen butt down in the driver’s seat and turned that ignition key.

It was only an 8 minute drive home so we didn’t even have a chance to thaw out, we unpacked our gear and then it was high time to make something warm and tasty.  I’d found this recipe several months ago, I tweaked it a bit and every time I make it – I swear it gets tastier.

If you are a fan of shrimp and thick creamy soups – this recipe is to die for!!

Carrie’s Favorite Shrimp Bisque


4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped celery
2 tbsp chopped onion
3 tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
¾ tbsp. Old Bay Spice (1 tbsp if you like it a little spicier)
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of pepper
4 cups of half and half (1 quart)
1 pound thawed jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Pinch of parsley
Bread loaf such as French or Sourdough


  1. Heat butter in a large sauce pan over low heat.  Add onions and celery and cook until tender.  Add flour, Old Bay, salt, paprika and pepper – whisk to blend.
  2. Add half and half gradually, whisking to prevent clumps.  Cook until thick, stirring often (this can take a while if necessary you may add an extra tbsp. of flour).
  3. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp s heated through.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hunks of crusty French bread for dipping.

For a complimentary wine try something with a little sparkle like a Chablis or a Riesling.

For a complimentary beer, I recommend a Belgian White as it will go nicely with the soup.

(Ok, I may be a little biased on both of those selections!)

If you try the recipe – be sure to let me know how you liked it!

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