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Prawn and fennel bisque


  • 450g raw tiger prawns (peeled but keep shells)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 800ml hot water
  • 150ml double cream (Elmlea)
  • Fennel leaves for serving


Shell the prawns. Chop the prawns into small chunks, but keep the shells Quickly fry the prawns in a large pan with the olive oil to brown and remove from the pan. Add the shells to the same pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onion, fennel and carrots and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Pour in the wine and brandy and boil for 1 minute to evaporate the alcohol, then add the tomatoes, stock and paprika. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Blitz the soup as finely as you can with a stick blender or food processor, then press through a sieve into a bowl. Spend a bit of time really working the mixture through the sieve as this will give the soup its velvety texture. Tip back into a clean pan, add the prawns and cream and cook for just 2 minutes to heat the prawns. To serve, spoon into small bowls and top with extra prawns and snipped fennel leaves.

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