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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spicy Green Tomato Soup with Shrimp

This is another recipe from chef Ben Barker at the restaurant formerly known as Magnolia Grill (RIP). Yet another awesome soup that can be served hot or cold, which is a nice option for the serious heat-wave that we're experiencing. I've adapted it ever-so-slightly. Serves 8; soup base freezes beautifully.

4 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 (scant) cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalepenos, stemmed and sliced, with seeds
4 green poblano/pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
2 small cans fire-roasted diced green chiles
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 pounds firm green tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
a few dashes of tabasco, to taste
salt & pepper

2 whole red tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
garlic powder, paprika, salt & pepper
4 ounces cooked pancetta (from above)
1 cup sour cream, thinned with 2 tablespoons milk

Heat the pancetta and oil in large soup pot over medium heat until the fat is rendered from the pancetta and its nice and crispy. Remove the pancetta, reserve for later. Add the onions to the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic, jalepenos, poblano/pasillas, diced green chiles, and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes soften. Remove the bay leaves, add the basil, and puree in a blender or food processor in batches. Put soup back in the large pot, add lemon juice, tabasco, and salt to taste. Keep warm if serving hot, or let cool and refrigerate if serving cold.

To make the garnish....
Bring a medium pot of water to boil and drop the whole tomatoes in for 10-30 seconds. Remove and immediately submerge in ice water to cool. After a minute or so, remove the tomatoes from the ice water and peel off the skin. Dice the tomatoes (removing the seeds and juice) and reserve for the soup topping.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Season the shrimps with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper and cook in the skillet. Remove from heat and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Once soup is ready to be served, place mounds of the shrimp in the center of a bowl, ladle the soup around the shrimp, and sprinkle the tops with pancetta and tomatoes. Finally, drizzle a bit of the sour cream on top... serve and enjoy!

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