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What Is Prawn Soup?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Prawn soup is a favorite part of Canadian cuisine, particularly in the more remote region known as the Northwest Territories. It is one of the types of soup that is frequently made from freshly caught prawns that local fishermen routinely bring home. Prawns are well adapted to the cold climate of the area, and many locals traditionally make large volumes of prawn soup to be stored and reheated throughout the winter. Recipes for this soup can vary from one family to the next, and some versions also draw influences from other regional cuisines.

Most prawn soup recipes call for approximately 1 cup (about 250 grams) of whole prawns. The technique of preparing the prawns for soup typically involves washing them and steeping them in boiling water for about two minutes before lowering the stove heat and simmering the prawns for an additional twenty minutes. Once they are drained and sufficiently cooled, the prawns then need to be shelled and deveined. They are finally chopped into small pieces along with the vegetables that each individual cook prefers such as carrots and onions.

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Some popular recipe versions result in a flavorful creamy prawn soup that can be made from a base mixture of heavy cream, water, and a pureed vegetable such as tomato or sometimes sweet potato. This type of soup can also be thickened with a measured amount of flour or cornstarch. Other ingredients can include fish or chicken bouillon and seasonings such as basil, garlic salt, and ground cloves.

Cooks who would like to try a spicier version of prawn soup can often find plenty of recipes that borrow flavors from Thai cuisine. Many of the basic ingredients, such as the flavored soup stock, remain the same, and these types of soups usually get their spice from Thai chili paste mixed with Kaffir lime juice. Both of these ingredients are often found in specialty Asian grocery stores. In addition to prawns, other seafood such as shrimp or crab can be added to these soup recipes if preferred.

Spanish-inspired flavors can also be found in some other prawn soup recipes; this soup is also known as sopa de carabineros. These recipes typically require prawns combined with monk fish and shrimp and cooked in a mixture of brandy, heavy cream, and fish stock. Tarragon is a common favorite spice for this soup, which can also derive added flavor from cooked leeks or yellow onions.

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