Border Crossing: Summer Shrimp Soup

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Who cares if it’s a soup or a salad? Or if it’s a salad with soup on top? It’s summertime, so why not cross the border between the unexpected and the delicious.
A clean, hot seafood broth, with small shrimp, poured over fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and a lot of herbs, served with a side of fresh hot chili sauce. Sounds like summer to me.

Shrimp soup bowl
Who cares if it’s a soup or a salad? Or if it’s a salad with soup on top? It’s summertime, so why not cross the border between the unexpected and the delicious.

Every summer, I play with using raw ingredients where you might not expect them.

A clean, hot seafood broth, with small shrimp, poured over fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and a lot of herbs, served with a side of fresh hot chili sauce. Sounds like summer to me.

 Summer Shrimp Soup

The Soup Broth:

1 liter or so of soup broth*

1 finely sliced stalk of celery

1 finely chopped small carrot

1 very small finely chopped onion

1 finely sliced clove of garlic

½ pound of small, peeled shrimp

In a small soup pot, add a small glug of extra virgin olive oil. Turn the heat on low and add the celery, carrot and onion. As soon as you hear a sizzle coming from the pan, add your room temperature broth. Add the garlic and let the broth simmer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  Add the shrimp right before you are ready to serve the soup and cook for only 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are firm and pink.

 *You can make fish soup broth with fish bones, seafood shells, etc.

If I’m making fish broth, I’ll make extra and freeze it.  If we have left over shells (shrimp or lobster), I’ll freeze those until I’m ready to make the broth. It looks a little scary when you open the freezer and there’s a fish carcass staring at you, but it will encourage you to stop being lazy and go make the broth.

Use this court boullion recipe and add your shells or bones to make it a broth.

In an absolute pinch, you can use chicken broth.

 The Salad Part

4 or 5 leaves of all the fresh herbs you can find, finely chopped (basil, parsley, chives, mint, cilantro)

1 very ripe red delicious tomato, cut into small pieces or slices

1 very small cucumber, cut into cubes

1 piece of a sweet pepper

1 juicy lime

Arrange the salad bits in small bowls. Use what you have that’s fresh and abundant. A bit of fresh zucchini, perhaps? Keep the pieces small.

 The Chili Sauce

2-3 killer-hot fresh chili peppers

A sprinkle of the chopped herbs

1 small clover of garlic

1 sprinkle of salt

1 small glug of olive oil

Blend until smooth. Gingerly taste to see if the balance of flavors works for you. Don’t stick your finger into a bowl of chilis, use a spoon or at some point you’re going to forget about the chilis and rub your eyes. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me….

  Soup in bowls
To serve: Arrange the cold salad in the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. Keep the chili sauce on the side you so don’t kill any chili weenie-fairy princesses (that would be me). and let the fire-eating asbestos tongues go to town (that would Jeff). 

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