Butternut and Shrimp soup

Winter is coming, I’m building a freezer stash of soup for the frigid days ahead. My go to is lentil and lately I’ve been adding some smoked sausage and garnishing with feta. So I thought I’d try something new.

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Serves 4

1/2 of a large butternut squash

24 large raw shrimp with shells on

2 garlic cloves

1 medium onion

6 celery stalks

32 oz chicken stock

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp Mediterranean spiced sea salt

1 tsp Curry powder

1 tsp Hot Paprika

1 tsp Smoked sea salt

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1/2 tsp Mustard powder

1/2 Cayenne pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and chop the butternut squash into small cubes.  Roughly chop the onion and celery, peel the garlic cloves and leave whole Place the on a lined baking tray, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp of the mediterranean spiced sea salt 1/2 tsp of the black pepper, curry powder, hot paprika, mustard powder. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take out of the oven and place everything but the squash in a dish. Return the squash to the oven for another 15 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting  peel the shrimp. Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in the soup pan. Once hot, add the shrimp shells and saute until pink. About 3 -5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cover with the lid until the vegetables are done.

Strain the stock to remove the shells. Return the stock to the pan and add in the vegetables and 10 of the shrimp. Turn the heat to medium and gently simmer for 15 minutes.  Puree the soup.

In a small frying pan melt the butter and add a splash of olive oil. Cut the remaining shrimp into 1cm size pieces. Season with 1 Tbsp of mediterranean spiced seal salt, the cayenne pepper and the remaining paprika. if this is a little too much spice you can always opt for salt and pepper. Saute until just pink.

Stir the shrimp into the soup and let sit for 10 minutes, check the seasoning. The flavours on the shrimp should have leached into the soup. You can add in a splash of cream to make this a bisque, I had to do this once when I was heavy-handed with the spices.

A crusty baguette is the perfect accompaniment, but if all you have is sliced white bread, keep reading.

Rolled croutons

What you’ll need,

Bread

Butter

Pepper

Other spices and cheese optional.

Heat the broiler to low

I like the garnish this with a few more shrimp and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

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F.

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