Shrimp and Lentil Chili

Now, from the title I would imagine that there are at least a couple of you looking at the screen, and thinking “WTF??”  This is the kind of thing that I sometimes come up with when I am facing a seemingly random assortment of things on my shelf, and need to come up with a seafood soup for Friday lunch at work.  It isn’t really chili, being short on beef, and having lentils, but  don’t really know what to call it.  It was very tasty (I have been told.), and could have been made gluten-free very easily!

 

This all started with a container of roasted poblano peppers that were sitting on my shelf next to a container of diced tomatoes. I have no idea how much precedence for a soup like this there is, but I’ve used similar things together before, and had great results.

You’ll want to cut down the size of this recipe…  I tend to make large batches of soups.  This one was roughly 4 gallons.

I had eight poblanos that had been roasted, but I had to peel them.  This is easy to do, but it is easier to do when they are still warm from roasting.  If you’ve never roasted a pepper, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.  Simply hold your pepper over the flame on your stove, and when it starts to turn black on the side, turn it. Once the skin is blackened and bubbly all over put it into a sealed container of some kind for about 15 to 20 minutes, and the steam will make it easy to just rub most of the blackened skin right off.  Then pull off the top of the pepper, and scoop any seeds out.  Done.

1 #10 can diced tomatoes, divided in half (At home: 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes

8 roasted poblanos (2 peppers)

2 large onions chopped roughly (1 regular sized onion)

1 cup garlic cloves (4-5 cloves)

1 bottle of beer (at work I used a Schlafly Pale Ale, at home I would probably use a Bard’s.)

3 pounds of 26/30* shrimp tail off, deveined and peeled. You could also use smaller shrimp if you want. (1 pound)

1 gallon vegetable stock (1 quart)

4 bay leaves (1 or 2)

To taste:

ground cumin, corriander, and oregano

salt and pepper

honey  (if it is too spicy honey is a great way to balance things out)

 

Once you have your peppers roasted put them in your food processor with the onions, garlic, and half of the tomatoes, and process until smooth.  You’ll have just made a very tasty salsa!  .

Place the salsa in a large pot , and bring it up to a boil.  You’ll want to be careful doing this, between the peppers and tomatoes there is plenty of sugar to burn.  Keep it moving.  Once it is up to a boil, add the shrimp.  I just sort of sautéed the shrimp until they started to cook a bit.  Then I added the beer, the rest of the diced tomatoes, the cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaves, and the stock.  Bring it up to a boil, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.   If it is too spicy add a bit of honey to balance it out. Let it simmer for a little while, and serve.

This kind of thing is quite easy to make, and tastes great!  Its great if you are abstaining from meat during lent, or are looking for a nice seafood soup that isn’t they typical clam chowder!

 

* When buying shrimp you’ll often see numbers like 26/30 or 21/25, or U10.  These numbers tell you how many shrimp are in a pound.  The U10 means that there are less than 10 shrimp per pound!

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