We had a dinner party for friends last Sunday. I had planned to make crab and shrimp. There were some gorgeous shrimp on sale at the store. I decided to buy four pounds, which is the most shrimp I have ever purchased. I thought, “That’s a lot of shells. I bet I could make a soup stock out of those.”
This is the way many of my cooking inspirations start. I take a manageable menu and decide to make one more dish. As it turned out, the whole menu was manageable and the soup was really quite good. I have a new thing to make! You can make it, too.
First, the shrimp stock. The recipe makes about 8 cups.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 cups shrimp shells (from 4 pounds of shrimp)
- 2 unpeeled red onion sliced into large pieces
- 2 unpeeled carrots, sliced into thick rounds
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
- 1 sprig thyme
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste (or 1/2 cup of tomato sauce): Note: I substituted 3 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and about 1tablespoon of Sriracha sauce.
- 8-10 whole peppercorns
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 12 cups of water, or to cover.
- Saute shrimp shells in olive oil in a stock pot. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients except water and salt. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, over medium heat, for about 10 minutes.
- Add water and deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping the browned bits (the fond) with a spoon, and combining them with the rest of the stock ingredients.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain stock with a colander set over a large bowl or pan. Add salt to taste. Use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze.
Here’s my stock, right before I strained it. Look at the color!
Now for the soup!
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
- 8 cups shrimp stock
- 1, 28 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomato
- 3 or 4 medium-sized potatoes, diced. (I used Yukon Gold and kept the skin on.)
- 4 pounds of clams, in their shells, rinsed with cold water.
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
- Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat. Cook until translucent or if you prefer, until they brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add shrimp stock and deglaze onion and garlic bits from the bottom of the stock pot.
- Add canned tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and potatoes. Bring to a slow boil.
- Cook until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Lower heat, add clams, and cover the pot. Cook, checking every couple of minutes until clam shells open.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley.