This light but hearty soup gets plenty of flavor from poblano chiles and homemade shrimp stock. Finely chopped corn tortillas help thicken the soup as it simmers. Poblanos can vary in heat, so taste before adding and adjust to suit your preferences. Having a sweet bell pepper on hand as a heat-free substitute is a kid-friendly dinner time strategy.
- 1 pound spot shrimp, shells and roe reserved
- 2 cups bottled clam juice
- 2 corn tortillas, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
- 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 cup thinly sliced and seeded poblano chile
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can hominy, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
- Sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips for serving
MAKE THE BROTH
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the shrimp shells and roe with the clam juice and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is infused with shrimp flavor, about 15 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl, discarding the shells and roe. Add the chopped tortillas to the bowl, and let sit until the tortillas are softened, about 5 minutes.
COOK THE VEGETABLES
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, poblano, garlic, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion, pepper, and garlic are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
SIMMER THE SOUP
Stir the reserved broth and add it to the pot along with the hominy. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid is slightly thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.
COOK THE SHRIMP
Cut any large shrimp in half, then add all of the shrimp to the pot. Simmer just until the shrimp are pink and curled, 2 to 3 minutes.
PLATE AND SERVE
Stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves, sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips and serve.
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Pair it Up
Serve a cold, crisp lager alongside this flavorful soup to balance the heat of the poblanos and sweetness of the shrimp.
Level it Up
Crabmeat and shells add richness and flavor to the soup and broth. Replace the shrimp shells and shrimp with the shells and crabmeat from 1 Dungeness crab cluster. Serve jalapeño hot sauce on the side for extra heat.
Change it Up
The soup can be refrigerated overnight and reheated over medium heat. Stir in additional broth if necessary.
Lighten it Up
Reduced-fat sour cream is a fine alternative to its full-fat counterpart. To cheat a creamy texture, puree the soup using an immersion blender in step 3 before you add the shrimp.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.