A colorful and deliciously warm seafood soup with tomatoes and tiger shrimps.
By Nik Sharma
This shrimp/prawn soup is one of my favorite Portuguese soups, it has simple savory flavors that are fresh and vibrant but also healthy. I love exploring Portuguese cuisine due to its strong influence on the history, culture and food of the Indian state of Goa. Portuguese food relies on fresh herbs and vegetables are to complement seafood dishes because they can accent the taste in different ways depending on the combination and types of fresh produce used. This is a highly modified version of the popular Tomatado soup of southern Portugal that is normally served without any inclusion of seafood. This soup is simple and delicate and definitely worth a try for any occasion. Bread is often used as a thickening ingredient in many Portuguese soups and here too the addition of chunks of bread make this soup a wholesome and tasty dish for a cold wintry day.
- 1lb fresh tiger shrimp, unpeeled
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro/flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (118.29ml) Pinot Grigio white wine
- 1 cup (236.58ml) vegetable stock
- 2 cups dry white bread of any kind
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water and the salt to a boil and add the whole shrimp. Let them cook till the color changes which should take about 2 minutes. Drain the shrimp and transfer to chilled ice-cold water to stop the cooking.
- Once cooled, peel and devein the shrimp and leave only the shell on the tail behind. Discard the rest of the shells.
- Heat the olive oil in a stockpot on a medium flame, followed by the shrimp and paprika and sear the shrimp on each side taking care to coat the shrimp with the paprika. This will take about 3 minutes till the shrimp get brown on each side. Remove the shrimp from the pot and keep aside. To the same stockpot, add the onions, chili and garlic and cook till softened.
- Add the tomatoes and oregano and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pot followed by the vegetable stock.
- Bring the contents to a boil and then reduce the flame to a gentle simmer.
- Rip or chop the bread coarsely into small ½ inch cubes. Add the bread and the shrimp to the contents of the stockpot and stir for about 3 minutes.
- Let the soup thicken for about 5 minutes.
- Add the fresh cilantro/parsley before serving to the soup.
- Serve warm or hot with toasted bread.
Nik Sharma is the cook, author and photographer behind "A Brown Table" and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a self-taught cook that is constantly trying to infuse "exotic" spices and ingredients by learning different cooking techniques in day-to-day meals with the motto of keeping all cooking methods fun, simple and useful.