Monday, November 29, 2010

Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder

Kristen is my good friend from home and TWSF's Boston correspondent. She emailed me the other day, excited because she made "the best soup ever." KK doesn't mess around when it comes to food, so I was immediately intrigued. I come home home for the Thanksgiving and was lucky enough to sample the soup during my visit, it was good. Very good. It's comforting and fresh all at the same time. She provided us an account of her cooking experience below.....

Post by Kristen:
One of the curses of growing up with a Mom (fondly known as Mama Chu) that is a chef extraordinaire is that everything I know about cooking I learned from her. Yes I said that correctly; it’s a curse. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her precisely measure out salt, spices, baking powder, soda, etc. Since I learned all my cooking techniques from her, I don’t think I need to measure anything either. I assume I can eyeball it just like she does. Unfortunately, I’m no Ming Tsai. Though I religiously watch cooking shows and scour the internet daily for new recipes, my creations never seem to turn out just right. That was until I discovered this Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder recipe. I am a huge fan of making soup because you don’t have to be exact in your measurements at all. Eyeball away!

Also, this recipe opened my eyes to a whole new world of cooking. Often when following recipes, due to my attempt at a sensible 20-something budget, I’ll skip any unusual spice or fresh herb that the recipe called for. (Yes that includes making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies without the maple extract. TWSF's note: BIG mistake, don't repeat.) However, I will no longer skip out on the herbs! This recipe opened my eyes to the flavor that herbs and spices have. The moment I added the fresh thyme (organic of course, another habit I inherited from Mama Chu) this soup came to life. I’m now going out into the world with a renewed outlook. I finally understand what those ladies from the UK were telling me when they sang a whole song about “Spicing up your life!”

(Technically serves 8 but I personally think this makes about 12+ servings)

1.5 pounds large shrimp de-shelled (I used raw, frozen)
2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 cups chopped scallions (plus another ½ cup for garnish if desired)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons flour

2-14.5oz cans of stewed tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups diced sweet potatoes (I left the skin on some and peeled some other, whatever you prefer)

2 cups frozen corn

2 cups diced green pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus thyme sprigs

Peel and devein shrimp (and thaw if necessary) and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add 1.5 cups of the scallions and all of the garlic. Cook for about 10 seconds, continuously stirring so that nothing sticks/burns. Stir in flour and cook for 5 seconds, stirring still. Add tomatoes, broth and 3 cups of cold water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, corn, green pepper and black pepper and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes (or until potatoes are just tender). Add shrimp and thyme and raise heat to medium-high. Cook stirring for 3-5 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Garnish with scallions and thyme if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment