I first came across a picture of this dish when it was featured on Food Gawker and thought that it looked too good to not bookmark. I didn’t actually try the recipe until a year after I had bookmarked it, and honestly I have been kicking myself ever since. I missed out on a whole extra year of eating this soup! The original recipe can be found here. Note that I have mentioned substitutions that I have personally and successfully tried in parentheses in the ingredients list. Onward!
1 medium yellow onion (white onion)
1 red bell pepper (yellow bell pepper)
1 lemon (2 limes)
1 jalapeno pepper (omit entirely if you don’t like hot food)
3 medium-large cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/3 cup cilantro
¾ cup long-grain rice
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 ¾ teaspoon salt (kosher salt, sea salt)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin olive oil)
1 ¾ cups canned crushed tomatoes (San Marzano tomatoes are the best)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (lite coconut milk)
2-3 cups water (more water if you like more broth)
12 ounces 51/60 count shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail off (any amount of shrimp is appropriate, more shrimp info here)
- Assemble all the ingredients.
- Pour olive oil into a large pot or dutch oven and set stove on medium-high heat.
- Chop onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno and drop into the now heated oil. Make sure to chop everything into bite size pieces and try to be consistent in chopped size for even cooking. Cook until vegetables are translucent and becoming soft (approximately 7 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Measure out rice, crushed red pepper, salt, tomatoes and water while the vegetables are sweating it out and add them into the pot after step 2 is complete.
- Bring everything just to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it cook for approximately 10 minutes. After this time, the rice should be pretty close to being done.
- While the soup is boiling, open the can of coconut milk and set aside. Chop the cilantro and then measure it. Also, squeeze lemon into a small bowl (pick out the seeds if any drop in) and add pepper. Cut shrimp in half and set aside in another bowl. Set all this aside.
- Once step 5 is complete, stir in the coconut milk and allow the mixture to come back up to a simmer.
- Add the shrimp and stir the mixture so that all the shrimp are submerged. Let the shrimp cook for approximately 3-5 minutes. This time is dependent on the size of the shrimp and whether or not they were frozen to begin with. Just check on them every few minutes to see how they’re doing. The shrimp should be opaque and pink when done. It’s also important not to overcook because eating tough and chewy shrimp is gross. Just keep an eye on the shrimp (that is, don’t go check your e-mail while you’re waiting).
- Stir in chopped cilantro and the lemon juice (with black pepper already mixed in) into the soup and serve!
I suggest serving the soup with crusty bread and a nice, crisp Riesling. I tagged the recipe as medium difficulty only because the recipe involves some chopping and some decision making regarding whether or not enough time has elapsed in order to move to the next step. If you are comfortable with these things, I would deem it an easy recipe. Everything is as straightforward as described.