Even though we’re having beautiful Spring temperatures today and I’m getting ready to uncover the grill for the first time this season, it was just this past Tuesday that Denver saw a frigid storm blow through and leave an icy beginning to a six inch blanket of snow that covered everything in sight. Folks…it was cold. On April 23rd I was wearing my full length black wool coat with a heavy scarf around my neck and we found ourselves slurping this wonderful and warming Mexican shrimp soup.
Cinco de Mayo food seems to be a year round event in our house, I still found myself pouring through cookbooks last weekend to find something new to celebrate the upcoming holiday. I’ve had a sticky note on this recipe for a while, and with the snow storm in our forecast, I decided it was time to give it a try.
This soup is light, brothy and incredible with flavor. To make it easy, I bought a bag of frozen cooked and peeled shrimp. After thawing I just pulled the tails off and fine chopped the shrimp. Adding an egg, flour and some great spices these little shrimp meatballs were ready to be dropped into a flavorful simmering broth. What makes them so wonderful with flavor is tomato paste, cinnamon, cumin, Mexican oregano and coriander.
The soup base is a well sauteed onion, garlic, tomatoes, chiles and bay leaves. I used poblano peppers, but any variety would be good. The recipe called for fish stock, but I used chicken. This recipe is definitely a keeper and I hope you’ll give it a try.
- For the meatballs:
- 1/2 pound cooked shrimp shelled and fine chopped
- 2 T . minced onion
- 1 T . tomato paste
- 1 t . ground cinnamon
- 1 t . ground cumin
- 1 t . dried Mexican oregano
- 1 t . ground coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons heaping all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- For the soup:
- 3 T . olive oil
- 1 onion thin sliced
- 2 chile poblano or Hatch
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 leaves bay
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 T . fresh cilantro for topping
Put the chopped shrimp in a bowl with the onion, tomato paste, spices, herbs, flour, egg yolk and salt. Mix well until thoroughly blended, then cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Make the soup; heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the sliced onion for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes
Add the fish or chicken stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and then bring to a boil. Simmer the soup gently for 30 minutes over low heat.
Divide the shrimp mixture into 12 portions and shape into small balls. Drop them carefully into the soup. Poach very gently over heat for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve hot, sprinkled with chopped cilantro.
In the mood for more shrimp soup recipes, how about this French version:
Mexican Shrimp Soup…It’s What’s for Dinner.