Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Creole SHRIMP and ARTICHOKE SOUP - Restarant Quality Soup

Good morning and I need a little bit of advice... it's an experiment... What do you think of the colored lettering? Tough to read? I have quite a bit on my sidebars, and I like the idea of having my posts distinctive and separate from the minutia. I would appreciate some feedback.

Next, I am VERY interested in finding other food bloggers from the Kansas City area... Any one within say 100-150 miles of Kansas City, please drop me a comment or an email. I have a project in mind... Also, if there are bloggers who know of other KC area bloggers, drop me a note and direct me to their blogs.

And now, it's day 4, the 11 AM hour of my romantic Christmas Eve meal. Quick recap...

  • It was just Jackie and myself. A perfect opportunity for nostalgia (and to stretch my cooking chops).
  • Each hour throughout the day I would work on a single course. I was not after a HUGE gut busting meal, each course became special.
  • Each menu item would be an attempt to recreate a memorable experience we had shared at a restaurant from our past.
  • Not only the taste, but the presentation and look of the item would be attempted. I wanted each item to be restaurant quality.
  • If you want to read over the previous 3 hours worth of dishes (Cheese Crisps, Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Sauce and Welsh rarebit, Click HERE and start scrolling down.
OK, that was my plan and goals. Here's what I did starting at 11 AM...


But not just any soup, this is a delicious recipe Jackie and I learned when we attended the NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING! We have been to the school several times during our many trips to the Big Easy, Classes take three hours, each day a different menu. You will leave with a full belly (lunch is included), and a history of how food helped forge the city, and many recipes for foods that you can not wait to make at home. If you visit New Orleans, DO NOT HESITATE TO TAKE THEIR CLASSES (reservations encouraged). Click the photo below to get to their website with more information.

I made a couple of alterations in their recipe. the recipe below is my recreation.

Here's what I did...

As always, assemble the ingredients...

24 ounces quartered artichokes
1 quart
Chicken Broth
1 cup sliced thin
green onions
1 tablespoon Thyme Leaves
1/3 cup
1/3 cup
1 quart
Heavy Cream
1 pound medium sized
Shrimp (pealed, deveined, tails removed)
3 Tablespoons
Cajun Spices
if desired (I do, Jackie doesn't, so I add to individual bowls),
Cayenne Pepper
to taste

If needed to get the right thickness desired (remember I am going for restaurant quality look as well as taste, add a bit of Corn Starch

For garnish (optional)

Additional Green Onions And here is how to make the soup...
  • Combine Artichoke, chicken stock, green onions, Cajun spices, thyme leaves
    Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 12 minutes.

  • Combine butter and flour to make a roux
    Stir in heavy cream to roux and whisk til mixed

  • Add the roux/cream mix to the simmering pot...
    Continue simmering for 10 more minutes

  • Add shrimp and simmer for 3 minutes only (shrimp cooks FAST)

  • Serve with Green Onions and parsley for garnish...
    Add a little extra heat (Cayenne Pepper) if desired.
It occurs to me that I have talked about making a roux several times, without giving details. So, here's some details (and a chance to show off a new photo collage skill I picked up).

A roux is a base for many sauces. There are many ways to make a roux, but what I do mostly is just equal parts butter and flour (by weight). After the butter is melted, add flour a quarter at a time and whisk until blended. Cook over low heat. DO NOT BOIL THE BUTTER. It takes 5 minutes to get your first color change. The photo montage above shows the color changes from start to about 15 minutes. The longer it cooks, the darker it gets. As the roux forms correctly, you will smell a nutty odor.

It is very important to continue stirring
throughout the entire process.

If your roux burns, it gets a nasty odor and taste. Don't answer the phone, don't kiss the babies and don't walk away.

Not Just a little bit... In every way that you measure soup, this fits the bill. THICK, RICH, Full of shrimp and vegetables (the artichoke) in every bite. It has a regional, Creole taste and depending on the spices is incredibly flavorful.

For just a shade extra kick (OK, a LOT of extra kick), added a tablespoon of CAJUN POWER GARLIC SAUCE. I picked up a bottle of this when I visited New Orleans this year, and I am just about out. I am rationing this stuff like it was gold, but in this soup, it really shines! It is available mail order from the CAJUN GROCIER, and well worth the extra effort... And BTW, with Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras coming up in a month, now is a great time to start planning your parties.

As I said, when the soup was done, Jackie and I relived several of our memories from New Orleans... I did several posts of my vacation which you can read the all by clicking HERE, and scrolling down. My very favorite post I did was the overview of How I single handedly rebuilt New Orleans,One Sazarac at a time!

So, It's noon somewhere... Can you guess what we enjoyed next for our Christmas Eve meal? Come back tomorrow and see.


  1. The green is very readable. Some colors are not. This dish looks fantastically delicious!

  2. I like the green - perfectly readable! The soup looks lovely. One day I will go to New Orleans, even if it isn't the same since Katrina.

  3. omg that soup looks divine. I love artichokes in anything.

  4. Good advice on roux- stirring all the time is the answer to no fail roux..light or dark!

  5. Just found your blog and it's great. I'll be back!

  6. I like the colors you use for the post, I would keep that up.

    Love the soup, I've been to New Orleans twice and didn't know you can take a cooking class somewhere, how fun is that?

    I'm going to order that garlic sauce for my hubby! Thanks

  7. That looks delicious! you are one good hubby! I also had no real idea what Welsh Rarebit was until I read your blog, interesting

  8. I'm still so jealous that you went to that cooking school in New Orleans - what a great opportunity. The green looks just fine, perfectly readable. The soup looks wonderful. What a wonderful recipe. By the way Dave, I tried and tried and I can't get your badge to post on my website. I've had that trouble before with Souper Sunday badge, but Tasty Treasures and Kitchen with puppies went right on. There is a difference in the addresses of the photo that I need to study out!

  9. This Christmas Eve meal you've prepared sounds so incredible with all the courses. Thanks for the photos as you're making your roux.

  10. Looks really good and authentic...I'm yenning for oyster and artichoke soup now - lol!!!

    Maybe we'll have a Cajun soup challenge!

  11. I love to make roux - it's so satisfying when it turns out great! When I get to NO, I'm definitely doing to the cooking classes! The soup looks really good and I like the green text. :)

  12. The soup looks fabulous. As for the colored lettering, I think you picked a nice, easy on the eyes color. Happy New Years Dave and friends!

    An Outdoor Cooking blog

  13. The green is not too bad. The soup looks so good! So creamy...love the ingredients and flavours!

  14. What a romantic! I need to send my boyfriend your blog address.

  15. Your soup looks wonderful. I make a shrimp bisque that's not bad, but I think you've bested me with this creation. I' plan to try this very soon.

  16. I like the green lettering. It fits with the pattern of this blog well. The soup looks GREAT!

  17. Your soup creation/adaptation looks fabulous! Such goodies always found here.. I wish I was within 120 miles of kansas, interested to see whats a brewing. Maybe if I click my high heeled ruby red shoes?

  18. The green font is great... subtle and very readable! Your soups looks fantastic too! In fact all the things you prepared for your Feast sound delicious, I'll bring the wine!

  19. Love the green! Goes perfect with the border!! And wow!!! Your Creole Shrimp and Arichoke Soup looks INCREDIBLE!!! Fabulous job, dude!!! And your roux is perfect!!! And that's coming from a Cajun, cher! And the Cajun Power Garlic Sauce is on my table! Cheers, mon amis!

  20. I like the ev-roux-lution picture series showing how the color changes as it progresses.

  21. Excellent tutorial for a delicous recipe. I'm jealous. I'd love some of this soup right now. Shrimp and artichoke soup sounds amazing!

  22. Yum! What a great soup. It looks so creamy and full of terrific flavors!

    Oh, and yes, I do like the colored font and no, I don't think it's hard to read at all.

  23. Dear Dave,

    I am sorry about the tofu. I really am. I promise it won't happen again. At least not for a while :p.

    Your soup looks delicious. I wish there were less expensive cooking classes in NY but as it is, they are way out of my price range. I love cajun/creole food though.

    About my collage/montage things. You will laugh, but I actually just use Powerpoint. I copy and paste the images into powerpoint. Then I resize them (usually so they are 4x4). Then I arrange them in a square/rectangle pattern so they are next to each other. I select all of them (Ctrl+A), right click and group them together. Then I right click them again and click save as picture. Voila! No special programs needed. Comment on my blog if you have any questions!

  24. i don't have a problem reading your font, it's very eye friendly! this soup looks wonderful! very unique and delicious!

  25. Your soup is gorgeous! Suddenly I'm starving.

    I think I might even have all the necessary ingredients for this recipe here at the house. I'm going to give it a go!

    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen
    Mystery Writing is Murder

  26. I love your recipe to Shrimp Creole.
    New Orleans food is great, it has its own taste and look, even tho its pretty much based on french.
    I really enjoy surfing on your blog.
    If you feel like, pass by my blog and take a look.

  27. Your soup sounds totally divine. Big YUMS up.

    Love the green lettering, complements the rest of your blog.

  28. YUM!And I have a large jar of those very artichoke hearts in the fridge as we speak. I have to try this and soon!