Yucatan Spring Shrimp & Lemon Soup
By Market Chef Maggie Perkins
1 lb raw shrimp, (26-30 per lb), shells on, peeled, shells reserved
1 small bunch leeks, greens and whites separated, whites sliced thinly, washed well and strained
2 carrots, sliced
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced thinly
1 large meyer lemon, juice and zest
1 bunch cilantro, stems minced, ½ leaves chopped, separated
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 small bunch radishes, sliced thinly
Shrimp stock: In a large saucepan or dutch oven, cover shrimp shells, green tops of leeks and carrots with 6 cups of water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to an hour.
Toasting Spices: In a small skillet over high heat, toast cumin, cinnamon and whole cloves until they begin to release their fragrance, stirring constantly and taking care not to scorch. This should take no more than 2 minutes. When toasted, add to simmering stock, above, for 30 minutes to an hour.
Add just enough olive oil to cover bottom of the spice toasting skillet. Over medium high heat, sauté leeks until limp and slightly golden. Remove and reserve.
Remove stock from heat and remove solids by straining through a fine mesh strainer. Return strained stock to pot. Over medium heat, bring stock to a rolling simmer, adding sliced jalapeno peppers, minced cilantro stems, the zest and juice of 1 large (2 small) Meyer lemon, toasted sliced leeks, and salt, to taste. Simmer 15 minutes, covered.
Add shrimp and heat until shrimp are completely opaque. Remove soup from heat and serve, garnishing each bowl generously with sliced radishes and chopped cilantro.
Return the broth to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Add shrimp, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce (if using). Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.
Photos by Maggie Perkins & Tracie Chan