Garlic Soup with Shrimp

“Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.”

Living at the “Crystal Coast” we support our local fisherman.  Buy fresh, buy local.

It never ceases to amaze me that so few ingredients can produce such a nice bowl of soup, one that you want to have more of and then go put the recipe into your recipe files to keep forever. 

I was surprised by how much of the toasted bread taste came out in the soup, without the bread, the oil smelled fantastic after “toasting” the bread I paid particular attention to taking the oil off the heat so as not to char one crumb. 

I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe.   I love garlic, but stayed with 6 decent sized cloves no matter what was suggested (8-16 a bit much for me but go for it if you want).   Fresh shrimp shells, sautéed and added to a previously saved and frozen shrimp stock, a few spices, and I sautéed the shrimp instead of boiling.  I have seen too much “boiled”, pale shrimp in the south and it is just not acceptable to me, give me some flavor and color on my shrimp!  I wanted a nice shrimp flavor to show up and not to be overwhelmed by a heavy garlic soup; with a pinch of paprika, a tinier pinch of shredded red pepper flakes, black and white peppers, done to my taste. The garlic toast had plenty of garlic flavor.

GARLIC SOUP WITH SHRIMP (adapted from Mark Bittman’s Recipe)

Time: about 45 minutes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 medium to large cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 slices rustic French or Italian bread
6 cups shrimp stock
1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (saving the shells for the stock) seasoned with salt and pepper 
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Add the olive oil and garlic to a wide sauté pan and turn heat to medium. Lightly salt and pepper, and cook, turning occasionally until they are tender and lightly browned about 10 minutes; I did have to lower my burner to prevent the garlic from browning too quickly.

2. Turn heat to low and add bread slices; cook on each side until nicely browned, 3-5 minutes. Remove bread, add the stock, and raise heat to medium-high.

3. Heat stock to a low and simmer for the time it takes to sauté the shrimp in another sauté pan.  Quickly sauté the shrimp in 1-2 tablespoons hot olive oil.  Cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes. Place a piece of bread and some garlic cloves in each of 4 bowls; then ladle in a portion of soup and shrimp. Garnish with parsley and serve

4 servings.

Thanks to Mark Bittman: