Use left over prawn heads and shells to make this soup.

Prawn Bisque. Photo: Sydney Seafood/Franz Scheurer
Prawn Bisque. Photo: Sydney Seafood/Franz Scheurer

Waste not, want not: after you have enjoyed fresh prawns, don’t throw out the heads and shells. 

You can use them to make this Prawn Bisque.

Serves six as an entrée.


  • 50g butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 500g green prawn shells
  • 1⁄4 cup plain flour
  • 400g canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock or water
  • 1⁄2 cup cream
  • Salt flakes & freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Chervil leaves, for garnishing


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and cook onion until soft but not coloured. Add prawn heads and fry until they turn red, crushing them with a meat mallet or wooden spoon as they are frying; crush well to extract as much flavour as possible.
  2. Add flour and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until flour is cooked out. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes break down. Add wine and stir until boiling. Add stock and return to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Strain, pushing through a fine sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the liquid to a clean saucepan, add cream and simmer to heat through.
  4. Taste, stir through salt, pepper and brandy, and serve garnished with chervil.

Alternative species: crabs, marrons, prawns, rocklobsters, yabby.

Recipe supplied by Sydney Seafood School