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BVC Eats: Winter soup with dumplings and shrimp

This warming soup has a clear stock that will knock your socks off with flavors. Start with something homemade and tasty, like a rich chicken or ham stock. The second lot of vegetables goes in timed to retain flavor and crunch. If you stir much, the avocado will disintegrate a bit, clouding the stock with vivid green shreds, but I rather like that. Raise the carb content by serving this soup with chunks of crusty bread.

Winter soup with dumplings and shrimp

per person:

8 oz rich stock

Group 1:
2 baby carrots, cut in coins
2” of sweet potato, purple yam, or yama, peeled and diced
10 stems of flat parsley, finely minced (leaves too, obviously)
2 to 3 T olive oil per person, yes, that much olive oil

Group 2:
5 frozen pot stickers
6-10 small raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, halved
½ ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large radish, diced
1” fresh gingerroot, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled, diced, and smashed
½ serrano pepper, seeded and minced

Group 3:
upon serving, a splash of lime juice or a squeeze of fresh lime
salt to taste

Begin:

Set aside the shrimp and pot stickers to allow them to thaw a bit. If necessary, wash and peel the shrimp and chop them in half.

Heat the stock.

On medium heat, add immediately the carrots, sweet potato, and serrano pepper.

Heat to boiling.

When carrots are soft, add the pot stickers. Cover and boil 2 more minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, shrimp, onion, celery, avocado, radish, and olive oil. Cover and boil 2 more minutes or until the shrimp are pink.

Add salt to taste. Serve. Add a splash of lime juice in the bowl, to taste.

Frills:

Just before you take it off the stove, put in a handful of well-rinsed, finely-chopped cilantro leaves and stems. The stems are crunchy, with a burst of hopeful Spring flavor.

For a fattier, less delicate soup, substitute chonks of Polish or Italian sausage for shrimp. Don’t use both. That’s a waste of shrimp.

For extra fancy, add ¼ cup diced scallops per person, including the liquid accompanying the scallops.

To feel virtuous, add three or four French green beans per person, cut in 1-inch pieces.

If you want to be totally gross, 30 seconds before you take it off the stove, add a handful of slivered baby spinach leaves, and cover to wilt them. I despise cooked spinach, but your mileage may vary. Same goes for zucchini. If I had a pig, I would serve it zucchini and spinach.

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