Thanks to our friend Maarten, we were provided with a bag full of spot prawn heads and tails. The tails were sautéed with butter & garlic and served with a pesto pasta, and the heads were turned into this fabulous soup.
Spot Prawn "Bisque"
approx 1 lb of fresh prawns, head on
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 small shallots, minced
1-2 baby fennel bulbs, fronds removed & diced fine
3-5 small to medium fresh carrots, diced fine
3-5 small to medium tomatoes, chopped fine
- Separate the heads from the tails; keep the tails for another dish, or add them at the very end.
- Roughly chop the heads (which includes legs and antennae), toss in a little olive oil and place in a rimmed baking pan.
- Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes, or until caramelized and roasted smelling
- While the prawn heads are baking, sauté the garlic, shallots, fennel & carrots. Once the vegetables are softened and browned slightly, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer.
- Scrape the baked prawns into another saucepan, add boiled water, and use a little of the boiled water to dissolve the prawn bits stuck to the baking tray and scrape all the goodness off into the prawn saucepan.
- Bring the prawns in the water to boil, and then reduce to a simmer. After it's cooked for at least an hour, strain the liquid into the vegetables, and run the prawn heads through a food mill to get the last of the juices out. Alternatively, you could finely food process the heads, then run through a sieve or a sieve and cheesecloth.
- Add the prawn juices to the soup, and reduce to a low simmer, and cook for a number of hours (one at least).
- When you're ready to serve, bring back to a boil, and if you like, add the prawn tails to cook for less than 1 minute. Alternatively, use the tails in another dish.
- Serve the soup topped with grated romano or parmesan cheese or just as is.