I was quite daring today! Every cook has his/her peccadillos and mine is fish. Or shellfish. Or any raw seafood that needs my fingers to massage it. But yesterday, Paul and I were trolling the aisles of our favorite Portuguese market and I saw these big, black eyes staring at me from the fish case. The langoustines were laying on their pallet of ice, just egging me on. They knew I had a recipe for langoustine soup just waiting to be experimented with, and dared me!
So, home I came with them and slowly worked up the nerve to attack this recipe. All I had to do was to get over my squeamishness and just pluck away. Heads got pulled off the bodies. Shells were peeled away. Goo at the tops of the tail meat was – well, goo, and into a dish it went!
I channeled my best French chefs who love working with seafood shells and envisioned myself as one of them, hammering away, breaking them up, and heading for a big pot of soup fixins’!
A little bit of this, a lot bit of that, and before you knew it I had a langoustine soup that equaled, well, maybe not equaled, (I’m not THAT full of myself!) those French chefs! Mrs. Fish Fingers was hooked! Let me know what you think!
CREAMY, RICH, WITH A LITTLE BIT OF HEAT, LAGOUSTINE SOUP!
The heat from the curry gives the soup the kick that it needs! Serve with crusty bread and add a bit of sherry just before diving in!
Mise en Place:
What You Need:
1 pound langoustines, shells on
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and set aside
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
6 cups fish or vegetable stock (I used 4 cubes of Knorr vegetable stock and 1 cube of Knorr fish stock and added 6 cups of boiling water. It sat for at least 15 minutes until I needed it.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced chives
Utensils and Tools:
Dish towel or paper towels
Butcher’s knife or rolling pin
Fish kettle or large saucepan
With your hand, remove the heads and shells from the langoustines. Place them on a kitchen or paper towel, cover and lightly crush with a rolling pin or the flat blade of a butcher’s knife. Place the tails into a bowl and put in the refrigerator until needed.
1 Tablespoon Butter. Oil.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in saucepan, until the butter bubbles subside.
Shells. Carrots. Celery. ½ Onion.
Cook all the above until the vegetables are soft. About 8 minutes.
Tomato Paste. Paprika. Salt. Pepper.
Mix the paste with the seasonings and then add to the saucepan. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
Add stock and simmer, uncovered, until the soup is reduced by half. This may take up to 1 hour. When finished, strain the soup into a large bowl, separating the shells from the soup.
Wipe the saucepan clean.
2 Tablespoons Butter.
With the heat on low, melt butter until bubbles subside.
Add remaining onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, until onion is soft. Stir to keep garlic from burning.
Stir in curry powder, mix well and cook for 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup cream and the wine. Stir and reduce by ½, about 10 minutes.
Add stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat but keep warm.
Whip the remaining cream until semi-stiff.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high.
Langoustine Tails. Salt. Pepper.
Remove from refrigerator and season with salt and pepper.
Cook in butter, stirring to heat all sides, and remove skillet from heat after 2-4 minutes.
Put soup in bowls.
Top with the langoustines.
Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and chives.