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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

what is left: Watercress Soup with Cayenne Shrimp

it is weird how the cycles of everyday life changes so much. i used to want to live like a wild bohemian, jet setting around the globe but all the while maintaining a flower child mystique. reality settled in that such a life was not feasible and i thought maybe a Quiet Life would suffice, working day in and day out, holding hands with my Love, laughing with my friends and of course, playing with food to my heart's content. for the most part, that is the life i lead but every so often, the heavens like to remind me that what was left behind can and will pop back up and force me to face it. it's no secret i went thru a very quiet rebellion growing up, silently seething thru 8 years under a strict father's rules and then an additional 4 years of college, away from home but not really because his reach extended that far, despite my efforts to attend an in state college that was 255 miles away.

i wasn't very surprised recently when i received an early morning text from my middle sister pam. she had snuck out of the house, got caught while still out, and refused to go home. it sounded so familiar. the cycle was starting uh-gain, just with a different player. it is tiresome, i'm not even in the thick of things and i'm tired! she won't take my advice to go home, nor will she take my advice to just leave home. so i have nothing left to give her.

kinda like the soup i made recently. my fridge was bare, just the barest minimum of food left, some stuff on the brink of rotting. i had a bag of watercress that i had bought on a lark, for 99cents and never got around to making into a salad. i had a few leftover loose shrimp. so i made soup. the day called for something comforting, something simple, using up leftover ingredients. having used what was left, the meal was creamy with the peppery bite of the watercress and the spicy kick of the cayenne i used in the shrimp. perfection in a bowl, to rejuvenate the one who leads the Quiet Life.

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Watercress Soup with Cayenne Shrimp

a bundle of watercress, washed
1 cup frozen spinach
about 3/4 cup day old cooked rice
left over scallions/green onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste
2-3 cups homemade chicken or veggie stock
a few shrimps, cleaned and de-shelled
cayenne pepper
milk, whatever amount you want to, creaminess being up to you
sour cream (optional)
olive oil

in a pot, heat up some olive oil. when hot, throw in the garlic and scallions, take care not to burn. next add in the watercress, sauteing until wilted thru. finally add in the spinach. heat thru thoroughly. pour in the which ever stock you're using and bring to a boil. this soup can be as thick and creamy as you'd like. at this point, i normally blend, in batches, with my hand blender until smooth. then i add the milk. salt/pepper to taste.

meanwhile, sprinkle some cayenne pepper over cleaned and dried shrimp. amount is up to you but be careful, cayenne is spicy! heat up some olive oil in a small pan and cook up the shrimp, just a few minutes is needed.

to serve, ladle soup into bowls and add a few shrimps. i put in a spoonful of sour cream because the shrimp ended up being far spicier than expected and i needed to mellow it out.

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9 comments:

  1. Ack! Hope things work out. It's stressful being the big sister!

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  2. Looks delicious. I just bought ingredients to make acorn squash soup & cream of asparagus. I'd like to improve my soup skills.

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  3. this does look so creamy and smooth! whats the white stuff in the middle? Hey hang in there, I know exactly how you feel, my younger brother is a rebel fighting his demons everyday with substance abuse, it's a roller coaster ride for us.
    Cheers

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  4. Ottima questa zuppa, molto bella la foto complimenti.
    Ciao Daniela.

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  5. I LOVE watercress! I like it in salads and soups but never thought of pureeing it. Thanks for the tip and love your work as usual!

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  6. Tasty, super easy, quick, and flexible. I had craving for soup (First chilly day) but it was just me and didn't want to spend hours on in. This was done in minutes. Didn't have spinach so threw in some frozen peas. Didn't want to dirty another pan so I chopped up the shrimp and threw it in to cook after pureeing it. Added some creole seasoning and devoured it. Thanks!!! It hit the spot.

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  7. Chi WC - don't i know it! :) thank you.

    Jennifer - now is the perfect time to work on soup making skills, it's freezing out!

    HW - it's sour cream. i went a bit crazy with the cayenne pepper and i needed to temper the spicyness.

    Daniela - thank you so much for visiting! please come back again soon.

    Mel - there's something about watercress that makes it such a great veggie, in salads or soups.

    Hang - what great improv skills you have, i bet the peas added a hint of sweetness to this!

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  8. Ottima questa zuppa, molto bella la foto complimenti.
    Ciao Daniela.

    ReplyDelete
  9. this does look so creamy and smooth! whats the white stuff in the middle? Hey hang in there, I know exactly how you feel, my younger brother is a rebel fighting his demons everyday with substance abuse, it's a roller coaster ride for us.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete