August 07, 2010

Cream of Herb and Shrimp Soup

Put plainly, bluntly and simply; we had no groceries in the house this week. We all have times when the refrigerator and freezer are getting low and for whatever reason (or many reasons working together) a trip to the grocery store just isn't in the cards. Due in part to our family camping trip (with 6 teenagers!) and then returning to a crazy, insane week back at home, and it being the week before payday with school registration due; a trip to the grocery store did not happen.

I know many that would simply 'go out' to eat but when you don't have the extra cash on hand and don't use credit cards for things like that, you do what I do. Get creative. Low-Grocery Time in our house typically means; homemade soup. Made with almost anything you have on hand, homemade soup can almost magically be made with little, feed a lot and tastes incredible.

First I pulled the bread machine out of the cupboard where it typically resides as I almost never 'bake' my bread in the machine. I tend to use the KitchenAid to mix the dough, shape it and bake it. But having no time and needing to get to work, I put the ingredients in for a basic white bread (flour, water, butter, dry milk, sugar, salt and yeast) and turned it to complete the cycle and bake while I was at work.

Then I opened the freezer. I spied a package of frozen, raw shrimp. Bingo! Cream of Herb and Shrimp Soup.

I made this recipe up sometime around 2003 or 2004. I usually chop the shrimp but this time around I decided to leave them whole. That is completely up to you. I'm not sure I prefer it either way. They are both good.

PS: If you use heavy cream and leave out the flour for thickening this could be a low-carb option for you.


2 T butter
2 T flour
2 c beef broth
Bay Leaves
20 shrimp - chop if you wish or leave whole. Up to you!
1 1/2 c heavy cream (I use milk too - use what you have. Improvise.)
salt and white pepper
1/4 c fresh parsley or a T of dried
2 fresh sage leaves or 1/4 t dried, ground sage
1 t thyme and dill

Melt 2 T butter in saucepan. Add 2 T flour. Whisk in 2 c beef broth. Simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 1 qt. water and the bay leaves to a boil. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes until done. Drain and discard the bay leaves.

Stir 1 1/2 c cream (or milk) into the broth. Return to a simmer. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat. Stir in the seasonings and add the shrimp. If you chop them, you could leave a few whole to garnish the bowls at serving. (I usually add a little more milk or cream, or sometimes more beef broth or even just some of the water from cooking the shrimp, and then add about a tablespoon of flour/water mixture to the hot soup for thickening to make this go farther and feed more people.) It feeds six-eight easily this way.

Chop shrimp to add or leave whole and add at the end.
Completely up to you but top each bowl with at least
one whole shrimp for presentation when serving.

Whisking in the parsley, thyme, dill and sage

Homemade soup with a slice of
homemade bread smeared with a bit
of real butter.


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