recipes / stinging nettles soup with new orleans gulf shrimp, sorrel and yogurt
by NYC Editor, 12/03/2008
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Executive Chef: Ben Pollinger
- 1 pound stinging nettles, leaves picked and washed
- 2 ounces butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for later
- ½ small white onion, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 small leek, white and light green part only, washed and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- ½ stalk celery, sliced
- ¼ long green (or jalapeño) chili, sliced
- Fresh pepper (at Oceana, we use a mix of equal parts white and black pepper in the pepper mills)
- 1 small Yukon gold potato—peeled, quartered and sliced
- Bouquet of 2 sprigs each thyme and parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups shrimp stock (recipe follows)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 ounces sorrel, picked
- 2 cups whole-milk yogurt
- 2 pounds (16 to 20 count) head-on New Orleans Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, heads and shells reserved
- ¼ cup parsley, chiffonade
- ¼ cup chives, minced
- Toasted sourdough-bread croutons
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the nettles for 1 minute. Shock the nettles in an ice bath until cold. Drain well. Squeeze any excess water from the nettles, then chop small.
- In a 12-quart pot, melt the butter into the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the onion, shallot, leek, garlic, celery and chili. Sweat the vegetables over medium heat with no color until well cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the potato, thyme-and-parsley bouquet, bay leaf and shrimp and chicken stocks. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the nettles and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Remove the thyme-and-parsley bouquet and bay leaf. Stir in the sorrel leaves. In a blender, puree the soup, in batches, until it’s smooth. Strain the soup though a fine strainer. Return the soup to the heat.
- Place the yogurt in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Temper the yogurt by ladling 1 cup of the hot soup into the yogurt, stirring constantly. Ladle in another cup. Whisk the tempered yogurt back into the soup, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Season peeled and deveined shrimp with salt and pepper. Sauté over high heat in a little extra-virgin olive oil until just cooked (cook shrimp in 2 or 3 batches or in 2 pans). Toss the shrimp with the parsley and chives.
- Divide the shrimp evenly among 8 warmed bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls, top with the croutons and serve.
- Reserved shrimp heads and shells
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups water
- In a large pot, sauté the shrimp heads and shells in the extra-virgin olive oil until they turn bright red; add the white wine and water. Simmer for 40 minutes, then strain.
Makes: 1 quart
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