This French Shrimp Soup is a rich and creamy soup that is perfect for entertaining. It is simple to make and tastes like it is packed full of cream and butter, but it is actually remarkably low is calories!
Back in 2005, way before our Australia adventure began, I had one of those moments that you see if films! We were on holiday in France when we came across a rundown farm house. I am talking completely rundown. The little 3 room house, had no door, the roof had collapsed in places and it was connected to a large barn area and pig sty.
But it was so perfect, sat on the edge of a small village, a little village church and just over 1/2 acre of land. It was a idillic french dream. So we bought it!!!! A run down farmhouse south of Langre and north of Dijon. In a small hamlet called Venisey. Seriously we just decided there and then to buy it! We bought it and slowly renovated it, very slowly 😉
Venisey is a beautiful place, full of wonderful welcoming people. I loved it! The next village along had a little restaurant which served the best shrimp soup! (It also served a mean raclette but that is a whole other post!) But this soup…Oh!!! So good! It was officially called Soupe De Crevette, which translated is a shrimp soup (prawn soup). It was rich and creamy with a hint of fennel and the most wonderful deep shrimp flavour. It came served with thick french bread toasts slathered with a garlicky saffron rouille and topped with grated gruyere.
When I finally persuaded Etienne to give me the recipe for his shrimp soup I was so surprised to find there was no cream in it. Honestly the creamy nature of this soup has to be tasted to be believed. It tastes so smooth, so rich and amazing! But no cream! In fact if you don’t have the traditional accompaniments then this a very healthy soup. But let’s face it, the world is better with cheese, bread and garlic!!! 😉
I have played with his original recipe to make it easier to make at home and also to get maximum shrimp/prawn flavour without having to add a large amount of expensive ingredients. This recipe is almost a left overs dish!!!! It uses my roasted shrimp stock, which is made from the discarded shells of another meal!!! How frugal is that!!! Honestly it is delicious!
I have given a recipe for rouille below the soup recipe, I have also included a cheats version, just in case. Please try this, if you are a fan of prawns then I am certain you will love this!
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- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 large fennel bulb
- Knob of butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 11/2 tbsp brandy (preferably french!)
- 1 l roasted prawn stock (Get my recipe)
- pinch paprika
- shake of white pepper
- 1 large fresh tomato
- salt - to taste
- rouille (recipe below and cheats version)
- grated gruyère
- baguette croûtes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves
- large pinch of saffron threads
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves
- 100 g mayonnaise.
- Large pinch of saffron
- Peel the onion and the carrot and chop into small pieces.
- Remove the stalks and root end from the fennel then chop into small pieces.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a heavy based saucepan and allow to melt.
- Add the veg and sweat them gently over a medium heat for 10 minutes until softened.
- Turn the heat up and pour in the brandy, stirring well.
- Add the prawn stock, the paprika and white pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Remove the stalk from the tomato and cut it into rough chunks. Add it to the soup and then simmer everything for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Blend your soup (see notes)
- Pour the soup through a sieve to create a smooth velvety soup.
- Pour the oil into a jug that will fit the heat of your stick blender.
- Add in the Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic and saffron.
- Then carefully crack the egg in, be careful not to break the yolk.
- Place the head of the stick blender over the yolk and then turn the speed to high and slowly bring the blender up through the oil.
- You should have a glossy rich homemade rouille within seconds.
- Mince the garlic then mix it through the mayo.
- Add the saffron, stir well and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Smear a little rouille on the croutons, float them in the soup and allow everyone to sprinkle over the gruyère.
I like to use my benchtop blender for this as I find it gives a smoother soup.
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