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Shrimp And Salad Soup

Sounds like the first three courses in a six-course dinner. The concept may seem strange, but I think you’ll like the flavor. Give it to someone without mentioning what the green ingredient is. They’ll never guess, but they will like it. I present it here as a hot soup, but it’s also very good cold–particularly if you replace the milk with buttermilk, and add it after taking the pan off the stove. Chill it after making it, and stir in some sour cream and chopped green onions. This was a regularly-featured soup at the old Feelings Restaurant back in the 1980s.

  • 1 bag spring mix salad greens
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh (not yellowed) celery leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 leek, tender light-colored parts only, cut into half-rings
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated
  • 24 large (but not enormous) shrimp, peeled
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • Tabasco

1. Wash the watercress. Combine it with the spring mix, celery leaves, chicken stock and lemon juice in a blender or food processor (the blender works better) and process into a rough puree.

2. In a saucepan, saute leek in the butter until clear but not browned. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is almost gone. Lower the heat to medium-low.

3. Add the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg to the pan. Cook while stirring until the texture changes (as it would when making a roux), but don’t allow to brown. Whisk in the warm milk and cook until the mixture is smooth and thick.

4. Blend in the puree of greens. Add a little more chicken stock or water if necessary to give the soup the proper consistency. Add the shrimp, and cook over medium-low heat until the pot begins to simmer and the shrimp are warmed through. Serve garnished with green onions. Season with Tabasco to taste.

Serves six.

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