Corn and Shrimp Soup

One of my favorite cooking magazines is Cuisine At Home.  My friend Jane subscribes and I got a gift subscription for my daughter.  There was a recipe in the August 2018 issue for Corn and Shrimp Soup and all three of us gravitated to page 40 and made that soup within a weeks time.  We each interpreted the recipe a little differently which really is what I think cooking is all about.  I consider recipes guides.  Sometimes you have all the ingredients on hand and sometimes you have to punt.  Sometimes there is an herb or spice recommended that you don’t care for (or don’t have) so you substitute. My daughter didn’t have shrimp in the shell so she used chicken broth and omitted the dairy.  My friend also omitted the dairy.  None of us used the husks to make the broth.  I added parsley and green onion.   All three of us got an amazing pot of soup.

Ingredients:

4 ears of corn (shucked and kernels cut from the cobs)

Save the cobs for sure, the husks if you like

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (peeled, deveined, and diced)

Save the shells

7 cups of water

3 fresh or dried bay leaves

3 sprigs of thyme (I used dried)

1 T black peppercorns

3 T butter

1 1/2 cups diced onion

3/4 cup diced celery

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 T AP flour

1 cup half and half

1 T white wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (I used parsley and green onion)

Peel, devein and dice the shrimp.  (This is the worst part!)

Put the shells in a large dutch oven.  Shuck the corn and cut it off the cob.

Add the cobs to the dutch oven along with the shrimp peels.

Add 7 cups of water, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes or more.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.  Pour the stock back into the dutch oven and, over high heat, reduce to 3 cups.

While the stock is reducing purée about half of the corn kernels in a food processsor until as smooth as possible.

Dice the onion  and celery.  Set the broth aside and melt 3 T of butter in the dutch oven over medium heat until foamy.  Sweat the onions and celery and cayenne covered until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.  Stir in stock and puréed corn.  Bring to a simmer.

Stir in half and half just until heated through.  Then stir in shrimp and remaining corn kernels and cook until shrimp is cooked an opaque, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in vinegar and minced thyme.  (I substituted parsley and green onion).

Add some croutons and a little shredded cheese of your choosing if you’d like.  Enjoy!  I will definately be making this again.

NOTE: Like I mentioned earlier, if your shrimp has already been peeled and deveined you can substitute chicken broth or Better than Boullion has a seafood base that would work.  I can’t speak to the flavor that would be brought out of simmering the corn husks as directed in the original recipe because I did not do that.  And I probably will not do that in the future.  The cobs do, however, add flavor to the broth.

If you’d like you could also add some small diced potato or carrots to the soup.  I would add those when sweating the celery and onion making sure they are a small dice so the vegetables cook evenly.

This soup, like many others, tastes best the second day.  The flavors seem to marry and intensify.

A couple years ago I made a pot of potato soup that I thought was blah.  I am blessed to have a professionally trained chef in our family so I called and asked him how to fix it.  He said to add a hit of vinegar to kick up the flavor and it worked.  This recipe called for finishing with a little white wine vinegar but now I almost always add that to my other soup recipes.

 

 

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