Wednesday Dinner: Spicy Cuban Shrimp Soup

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Al Dente HQ is in the process of having its roof replaced. I’ll spare you, dear reader, the messy details about the job itself other than to say that the work crew has been here longer than planned and it’s not their fault.

As a result of the increased traffic and trucks in my driveway, I really don’t have a lot of room to haul out my grill at night. So, the pound of ground lamb waits in the fridge for another day. And, on a day where we topped out near 80 degrees, I made soup.

(Tangent: We went long stretches in Syracuse during the month of August where it didn’t hit 80 degrees, and not it has done so three times in the past seven days in September.)

So, soup on a hot warm day isn’t the worst thing thing in the world. This particular entry from Jennifer Olvera at Serious Eats has a crisp citrus flavor, which surprises you at each spoonful.

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WHAT WORKED: Tomato paste. It’s such a simple ingredient and The Wife likes eating it out of the can. It’s a win-win situation.

WHAT DIDN’T: Everything went fine and I didn’t forget any ingredients.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: While I was clearing the table, I noticed that she had half a bowl of soup left. I asked if there was a problem and she informed me that she liked dinner and couldn’t finish the third bowl of it because she was full. So that’s good.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes, simply because this recipe makes about 3 quarts of soup and one of them is now in the freezer.

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Spicy Cuban Shrimp Soup
Adapted with care from the original by Jennifer Olvera at Serious Eats

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • Juice of one fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Juice of two fresh fresh limes
  • Juice of one cara cara or blood orange
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. medium shell-on shrimp
  • 6 oz. angel hair pasta (NOTE: I used fresh but dry will work just as well)

2014-09-10 at 16-40-48Add oil to a large pot over high heat and bring it to a shimmer. Add the jalepeño, bell pepper and onion, and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it overpowers every other smell coming from the pot, about 2 minutes.

2014-09-10 at 16-57-08Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes to reduce the liquid, then add the broth, fruit juices, herbs, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper.

2014-09-10 at 17-20-59Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and maintain the boil for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they just turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl with a slotted spoon and remove the tails and shells.

2014-09-10 at 17-21-11Add the pasta and cook through. Return the shrimp to the pot and serve hot.

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