Prawn Bisque with Truffle Tuile de Pain

If you can’t get to the Snooty Fox at the Fern Hill Hotel, bring the restaurant to you with this Prawn Bisque with Truffle Tuile de Pain.

This Prawn Bisque recipe by executive chef Alex Poltera will make for a great starter at your next dinner party.

Prawn Bisque with Truffle Tuile de Pain

Serves 4You will find the prawn bisque by executive chef Alex Poltera on the menu at the Snooty Fox at the Fern Hill Hotel


For the bisque

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 shallots or 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 800g tiger prawns, deveined and deshelled. Keep the shells and the meat
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tots Pernod
  • 2 tots brandy
  • 1ℓ water
  • 6-8 whole black peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs of fresh dill
  • fresh or dried tarragon
  • salt
  • white pepper

For the truffle tuile de pain

  • 80g water
  • 30g truffle oil
  • 10g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Put 2 tbsp of butter into a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, bay leaves and peppercorns. Once it starts simmering, turn down the heat and allow the onions to sweat.
  2. Then turn up the heat and add the prawn shells, including the heads. Stir vigorously with a spoon and bash the shells and heads until they are brightly coloured. Stir in the tomato paste.
  3. Add the wine, brandy and Pernod and cook out completely before adding the water.
  4. Bring to the boil and add the herbs, then reduce to a simmer. Reduce the liquid by half (about 25 minutes).
  5. Strain, and squeeze out any liquid from the sieve.
  6. Return to heat and add the prawn meat. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes or until reduced by half again.
  7. Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp of butter. Blitz in a food processor, then pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Cook to desired consistency, similar to a gravy.
  8. Turn heat down and stir in 2 tbsp butter, add salt and white pepper.
  9. For the truffle tuile de pain, mix all the ingredients to form a slurry. Heat a pan without oil and drop in the mixture and allow to spread out.
  10. Once the bubbles have disappeared and the tuile is firm, remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper. Ladle the bisque into a bowl and garnish with pieces of the tuile.Executive chef of Fern Hill Hotel Alex Poltera has a number of accolades to his name

Wine Suggestion: The Foundry Roussanne

Executive chef Alex Poltera worked his way up the ranks at Fern Hill Hotel by starting out washing dishes before running the hotel’s Snooty Fox. Read more about his journey to the top in our Country Chef interview.

Photography Craig Scott

Leigh Hermon

A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.

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