This was an interesting weekend. I'm glad this soup was good, because it took a lot of work to get the shrimp that was used in this recipe. Last weekend my husband went out shrimping with a friend (I had told him numerous times it was way too early and cold for me to go out yet). Unfortunately, they had motor trouble on the boat and had to come back early, using a small kicker motor. LOTS of hard work, and that meant they had to leave the shrimp pots out there. Sadly, sometimes people steal shrimp pots when they think they're not being attended to. So this weekend, even though it was still too early for me, we headed out to retreive the shrimp pots. (I forgot to mention that was after a $1000 bill to fix the motor.) The weather forecast wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible (besides the forecast for snow). We left Saturday morning, and it was an interesting day. It snowed like crazy at times. I even made a little snowman on the boat (okay, he was only 3 or 4" tall). But the water was smooth, so with a heater on the boat it was warm inside the cabin. We retreived the 5 shrimp pots and overflowed a 5 gallon bucket with shrimp. We put the pots back out again, and were planning on pulling them Sunday morning before coming in. Well, plans didn't work out as planned. That evening the wind really picked up and was quite strong, even in the cove we were anchored in. Sunday morning when we came out of the cove, the seas were 4-5 feet. That's big for our 24' boat. I like smooth water, and this was very scary for me. One wave we hit at a strange angle, and I was quite terrified for a while. There was no way we would be able to pull the pots safely, and again, the pots had to be left out there. My husband knows he needs to find someone else to go out with next weekend!
On top of the snow and rough seas, when I got back to shore and checked my email, I found out that there had been a bear attack in our neighborhood, less than a mile from our house. Luckily, the man who was attacked will be okay. It was a huge brown bear, estimated to weigh 800 pounds. I think I'll be hitting the gym rather than walking in the neighborhood for a while.
So here's the recipe for the soup I made with this special shrimp. I adapted the recipe from a couple I found online called Brazillian Shrimp Soup. I changed the quantities of some of the ingredients, along with adding fennel. The soup was very godoy. Spicy from the chili flakes. You can't really detect the coconut milk, but it adds a rich creaminess to the soup.
Brazilian Shrimp Soup
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups crushed tomatoes in purée
4 cups water
1 1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 1/2 lb peeled uncooked shrimp
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro(optional)
Heat oil in a large stockpot over med-high heat. Add the onion, fennel, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is just tender. Stir in the coconut milk. Return mixture to a simmer, then stir in shrimp. Simmer just until shrimp are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve.