1 lb frozen jumbo pink shrimp, shell-on
3 oz shallots
1 rib celery
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 plum tomato
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (+6 teaspoons) dry sherry, divided
4 cups water
4 slices center-cut bacon
4 tablespoons light brown sugar 2
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon citrus vinegar
4 tablespoons crème fraiche
1. Thaw shrimp. Meanwhile, coarsely chop shallot, carrot, and celery. Remove thyme leaves from stems. Coarsely chop garlic and tomato. Peel and devein shrimp (reserve shrimp shells); remove and discard tails. Chill peeled shrimp (wash hands).
2. Preheat large saucepot on medium 2–3 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons butter, reserved shrimp shells, shallots, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, and tomato paste; stir in salt and white pepper. Cook 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften
3. Stir in chopped tomato and flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until flour is incorporated. Stir in 1/2 cup sherry and cook 1 more minute, stirring constantly, then stir in 4 cups water; bring to a simmer. Cover pot and reduce heat to low; gently cook 20 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange bacon slices on baking sheet lined with wire rack. Coat top of each slice with 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bake 30–35 minutes until bacon is crisp and sugar is melted and sticky. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
5. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and pearl onions to medium sauté pan. Heat over medium and cook 16–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened. Coarsely chop bacon. Thinly slice chives.
6. Stir cream and Worcestershire into soup until blended. Puree soup in blender until smooth, working in batches (to avoid injury, do not fill blender more than halfway and do not seal lid completely). Strain blended soup through fine mesh sieve into medium saucepot.
7. Heat soup on medium-low until 165°F. Coarsely chop peeled shrimp (wash hands). Stir shrimp into bisque and cook 2–3 minutes until firm and opaque; stir vinegar into soup until blended. Divide bisque between serving bowls. Drizzle each bowl with 1 teaspoon remaining sherry. Garnish soup with pearl onions, bacon, crème fraiche, and chives; serve.