1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 cups half-and-half
8 1/2 cups Shrimp Stock, recipe follows
1/4 cup brandy
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp
dry sherry, chopped fresh parsley
In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring constantly, 7 minutes.
In the container of a blender, combine onion mixture and half-and-half. Blend until smooth and return to Dutch oven.
Add Shrimp Stock, brandy, tomato paste, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of sherry and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with French bread.