A delightful seafood bisque from Barrafina. This rich Spanish inspired soup recipe has depth of flavour from fresh prawns, fennel, brandy and bay leaves.

From the book

Barrafina by , &
Recipes from the acclaimed London restaurant
Cook your favourite tapas dishes at home
The very best of classic Spanish cuisine


We use this bisque quite a lot in our seafood cooking, as it adds a wonderful depth of flavour to the dish. It freezes well, so you can make double or even triple quantities and freeze what you don’t need in ice trays. Defrost as much or as little as you need at a time.

Makes 1.5 Litres


25ml olive oil
1kg raw prawns, shell on
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, diced
1 bulb of fennel, diced
1 leek, diced
2 shallots, peeled and diced
1 whole head of garlic, cloves peeled
3 bay leaves, fresh if possible
2 tbsp tomato purée
200ml brandy


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan until smoking. Add the prawns and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, mashing and crushing them as you go. Add the carrots, celery, fennel, leeks, shallots, garlic and bay leaves and cook for another 30 minutes, until well browned and mushy.

Add the tomato purée and brandy and ignite to burn off the alcohol. Add 4 litres of water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 to 1½ hours, until the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds.

Strain a couple of times through a fine sieve and keep refrigerated or frozen until needed.

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