Thai Shrimp Soup

Going back to last weekend, we did new year’s weekend big.  And by “big,” I really mean that we fell asleep before midnight and had a relaxing, wonderful weekend.  But in other more exciting news, Seattle finally was having snap of winter appropriate weather!  Cool, clear, and crisp Pacific Northwest winter days are some of my favorite weather in the world.  Period.

So in light of the weather, which was a nice respite from the mild, gray, wet days we are so accustomed to, we seized the day!  As such, our day started out with a run around the lake (see cool, crisp Seattle wonderfulness below), coffee, and way too long perusing a book store.

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You may not know this, but with cool and crisp days comes a certain culinary protocol.  You see, these days require a specific type of meal at the end of the day: something of the warm, fragrant, and delicious variety.  And not wanting to break protocol, we made this Thai Shrimp Soup.  Warm? Check!  Fragrant? Check!! Delicious?  Check!!!

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Think coconut milk, ginger, seared shrimp, and curry paste simmered to warm mildly spicy perfection and topped with the freshness of lime juice and cilantro.

For this recipe you must buy the raw, jumbo variety of shrimp – nothing pre-cooked.  Most grocery store seafood departments offer these deveined and already cleaned.  If you have ever deveined shrimp before, you know how tedious it can be.  So, when available, I save the time and purchase the deveined kind!

If raw shrimp scare you, don’t let them!  I put shrimp in the “fool proof” category because they tell you when they are done by turning that nice shrimpy color of pink.  When pan-frying shrimp (as you will do for this recipe), my rule of thumb is to turn those little guys over as soon as they turn pink on one side.  They will get too tough if you over-cook them.

Thai Shrimp Soup

Serves: 4-6

Active time: 30-40 minutes   Total time: 30-40 minutes

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, deveined, tails left on
  • 3 tbl. butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbl. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbl. red or yellow curry paste
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • Approx. 4 cups of vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 cup. cooked rice
  • Juice from 1 lime, fresh
  • Small handful of cilantro

Melt butter on medium high heat in bottom of large sauce pan. Season shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides.  Working in bathces, cook shrimp in melted butter just until lightly pink on each side and no longer translucent.  DO NOT overcook the shrimp!  Set cooked shrimp aside.

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Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil.  Add garlic, onion, and red pepper.  Place lid on pan. Cook until slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and cook for about 1 minute longer until fragrant.  Then, add the curry paste mixing it well with the veggies. Stir in the coconut milk and add 3.5 cups of vegetable stock.  Increase to high heat to bring pot to a boil stirring occasionally.  Once boiling reduce to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.  The thickening step should take 10-15 minutes.  If soup gets too thick, add in the reserved 1/2 cup of stock.

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Once mixture is thickened add shrimp and cooked rice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately topped with some lime juice and cilantro.

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Voila!  The perfect conclusion to a chilly winter day!

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