Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rosie Makes Shrimp Soup.

Here's the finished product.  Shrimp soup.

 And here's what started it all.
I was cleaning out the freezer
and found a quart of shrimp stock.

Assemble everything you need:
Chopped celery 
Chopped carrots
Chopped sweet bell pepper
Chopped onion.
Can of corn
a little sugar
Shrimp, peeled, de-tracted, and seasoned with paprika, togarashi, and gochugaru 
1 qt. shrimp stock, heated
heavy cream
dry sherry 
unsalted butter 
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Minced jalapeño
Can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies
Rosie Notes: 
I always have shrimp frozen - in 8-10 oz. batches.  I thawed it out, peeled it, and de-tracted it.  That black line going down the back is the digestive tract, not a vein.  So I de-tract, not de-vein.  Then I lightly seasoned the shrimp.  Some Hot Hungarian paprika.  Some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes).  Some togarashi (combination of red chili, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, nori [seaweed], poppy seed, orange and lemon zest).  Just a dusting.  If you don't have the exact spices, go with a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, or Lawry's seasoning pepper.  This is not written in stone.
None of this is written in stone.  This is not a "recipe."  This is just a "Hey, try this, but if you don't have that, you can try something else." 
As for the amounts, say a handful each of chopped onions and celery and I only had one small orange pepper left on my plant, so I used that.  Would have liked some dark green pepper or red pepper in it, for the color, but go with what you got. 
I used half the can of corn, but you could use the whole can.
I used the Rotel tomatoes and chilies to place on top of the soup, along with some cilantro and jalapeño out of the garden.  Not a cilantro fan?  Use parsley.  If you have some green onions, sprinkle them on top of your serving.
 Now, here's a thought.  If you happened to have some bacon, you could sauté a few strips, set the bacon aside, used some of the bacon grease with butter to sauté the shrimp in, and crumbled some of the bacon onto the soup in the serving bowls.  Just an idea.
As for the shrimp stock, you could substitute a store-bought carton of seafood stock or vegetable stock, but I usually have shrimp stock frozen.  Here's how to make it: 

We buy shrimp in bulk, de-head 'em, shell 'em, size 'em, then freeze 'em.
Take the shells (and heads if you're not squeamish), sauté in some oil over medium heat, add in a bunch of aromatics - onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves - add water to cover, some salt, and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Drain off liquid, discard solids, and freeze in pint or quart containers.  Here are the step-by-steps plus a recipe for a shrimp and crab bisque in case you're interested.

Here's the basic outline of what I did:
Heat shrimp stock over low.
Medium skillet.  Medium-high heat.  Thrown in a tablespoon or so of butter. Sizzle. Add drained corn and sprinkle some sugar over.  Toss and sauté corn for a couple minutes until you get a nice smoky browning (caramelizing) on the corn.  Reduce heat and add in another plug of butter, then celery, carrot, and onion.  Sauté a minute.  Pour into a medium bowl.

Turn heat up to medium-high.  Add more butter.  Sizzle.  Add in seasoned shrimp (mine are large) and cook about one minute each side.  You want a searing, but not cooked all the way through.  That will be done in the soup.  Remove shrimp from skillet.  Reduce heat and add about 1/4 cup of the shrimp stock to the pan, scraping, to release all the goodie bits on the bottom.  That's where the flavor is. Pour this flavorful mixture back into the shrimp stock.

In a medium soup pot, medium heat, melt 2 TB butter.  When sizzling, add in 1/4 cup flour, stirring constantly.  Cook for about 2 minutes, to get the raw taste out of the flour and for it to turn to a tannish, light brown color.  Slowly start adding in the shrimp stock, 1/4 cup or so at a time, stirring constantly, allowing it to thicken.  When you've added all the stock, pour in the reserved cooked vegetables and shrimp.  Slowly pour in about a cup of the cream to enrich the soup.  Season to taste, with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Give it a splash of sherry and swirl it in.  To taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with Rotel tomatoes and chilies, minced jalapeño, and cilantro.
Add some croutons or oyster crackers.

Here's my seasoned shrimp.

Vegetables ready.
Medium high heat.
Sizzling butter.
Sprinkle on some sugar.

Clockwise from top right:
sweet  pepper       
Sauté corn with the sugar,
then add more butter
and the veggies.

Sauté for a minute or so.
Set aside.
Heat butter,
 medium-high heat,
 to sizzling
in a soup pot and
add in shrimp.

About a minute each side.
These are large shrimp.

Shrimp are seared on outside
but slightly underdone inside.
And you've got all those nice
goodie bits sticking to the bottom.

Remove shrimp 
and pour in a little shrimp stock,
scraping up the "fond."
Fond - that's what those bits are called.

Pour the stock with fond 
back into the shrimp stock.
Basically, you've just cleaned your pot
and saved all the flavor. 

Medium-high heat.
Melt 2 TB or thereabouts butter
until sizzling.

Add in flour
and cook.

Keep cooking the flour.
You want the mixture
a light brown.
Pour in the heated stock,
just a little at a time,
stirring, letting it thicken.

Stir in cream.
Heat through.
Add in shrimp and veggies.
Let shrimp finish cooking.

A little sherry.
And serve.
Top with Rotel
tomatoes and chilies,
minced jalapeño.

Sliced scallions
and crumbled bacon
would be welcome.
Maybe some croutons
or oyster crackers
or toast points.


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