Andalucian people consume a lot of seafood – especially langostinos - Spanish shrimps. Red ones are precooked and can be enjoyed as is. The grey ones are raw. Both are widely available from fish counters in different sizes. We buy the grey ones quite often. One popular way to make them as a snack is to marinate them with shells in olive oil, garlic, parsley and lemon juice, and grilling on iron grill plate, plancha. We always collect the shells after eating and freeze them for making shrimp stock later. The more shells you have, the more intense the flavor becomes. It’s not a problem if you don’t have any extra shells stashed aside. The flavor of the soup is still very good. You can also use frozen shrimps, just melt them slowly in the fridge overnight in order to peel the next day.
Ingredients for Shrimp Soup for 4 Servings
- 1 kg (2 pounds) of raw shrimps with shells – langostinos frescos
- A small can of double concentrated tomato pyre – tomato frito doble concentrado
- A glass on brandy – un vaso de brandy
- Half a bottle of white wine – vino blanco
- Water – agua
- 2-3 carrots – zanahornas
- 1 chili pepper – pimiento picante
- 1 spring onion or leek – cebolleta o puerra
- 1 celery – apio
- 1 fennel – hinojo
- A splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
- 5 dl (2 cups) of double cream – nata cocina
- A pinch of Spanish smoked paprika, spicy – pimentón picante
- A pinch of sea salt – sal marina
- A pinch of ground black pepper – pimienta negra
- A bunch of dill – eneldo
Making the shrimp stock
Preheat oven to 120 ºC (250 ºF). Peel and devein the shrimps and place shells (heads, too!) on a baking tray. Put the peeled shrimps in cold water and into fridge to wait. Roast the shells in the oven for 20 minutes.
Wash the vegetables and cut into large slices without peeling them. Put a splash of olive oil in a large soup pan on high heat and put the roasted shrimp shells along with the vegetables there. Cook them for few minutes and add tomato pyre and brandy. Bring to boil.
Add the white wine and some water so that all ingredients are covered. Let the stock simmer for about 30 minutes and skim foam from the surface, if needed. Strain the stock to another soup pan. If you end up with excess stock, you can cool it, freeze it and use later for another soup such as bouillabaisse, the French fish soup.
Making the shrimp soup from the stock
Bring the stock to boil. Cut the chili pepper in rings. If you don’t want much heat, remove the seeds. Add cream, chili pepper rings, salt, pepper and smoked paprika to the soup. Smoked paprika is a strong seasoning, add it carefully. You don’t want to override the delicate shrimp flavor. If the structure of the soup feels too watery, thicken it with corn starch.
When seasoned to your taste, remove the pot from the heat and add the shrimps. They cook within couple of minutes in hot soup. Serve immediately with fresh white bread. You can garnish the soup plates with freshly chopped dill.