Creole-Style Tomato, Shrimp and Okra Soup

Posted: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

2 tablespoon olive oil

Serve Creole-style soup with fresh-baked cornbread. If you can't find Tasso ham for this recipe, substitute with smoked ham or Canadian bacon.

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

2 small cloves garlic, minced

1 rib celery, minced

1/2 cup Tasso ham, chopped

5 cups chicken or fish stock

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, undrained

1 small can tomato paste, for thickening and color, if needed*

1-1/2 cups fresh okra cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds

1/4 cup unrinsed long grain rice

1 teaspoon Zatarain's Creole seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 pound medium fresh raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste

Tabasco sauce, optional

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the roux turn light brown. Stirring constantly, add onion, green pepper, garlic, celery and ham, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let mixture burn. Add chicken or fish stock, tomatoes, sliced okra, rice, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, thyme and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until okra is tender. Add shrimp and cook 10 minutes more. Add salt and Tabasco to taste. Remove bay leaves and garnish with chopped parsley before serving. Serves 4.

Kitchen Ade Note: If the soup needs further thickening, or if you desire a deeper tomato flavor or color, add some tomato paste to the simmering soup, a little at a time.

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