Rustic Three-Bean Soup with Shrimp

Today, I was planning on making my ritual red beans and rice dish when I happened on this can of three-bean blend thingy in the store. Hmmm, looks good!

I never really thought of deviating from the usual recipe but now, I was up to something else. I thought I’d soup it up, this time. And I wanted seafood on it so I got me some shrimp. Just a half pound of the small-sized ones. Also picked up a bottle of white wine. This one, right here…

Now, this was kind of a disappointment, unfortunately. It was right smack in front of the store with a big sign that says $3.95 a pop. I fell for the magic spell, grabbed a bottle and jetted on outta there in no time.

Back home, I started prepping and cooking. Right before I was to pour the wine into the dutch oven, I decided to give it a taste. After all, them fancy shmancy chefs always remind us to cook only with wine we are willing to drink. Well, I took a sip and almost vomitted! Okay, I’m exaggerating. Heck, I’m not a wine connoisseur and usually have no qualms with cheap wine but this is just a bit over the edge for me. At this point, I am now doubting whether or not to add some into my soup lest I ruin the whole thing. But since I know I wasn’t going to drink anymore of it and that I hate for it to go to waste, plus I definitely wouldn’t be going back to the store to grab a different bottle, I just thought… what the heck! It’s not gonna kill me, anyway.

Well, what do you know? The soup turned out to be fantastic, anyway. The flavors are bold, fresh and healthy! I can taste the wine but luckily, it’s nowhere near as bad as when I took a sip of it. I would definitely make this soup again. Only next time, I probably won’t skimp on the wine. And take it from me… you shouldn’t either!

Ingredients: Three Types of Beans (Red, White, Black), Chicken or Vegetable Stock, White Wine (a good one, please!), Uncooked Shrimp, Celery, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Carrot, Garlic, Olive Oil, Cajun Seasonings, Bay Leaf, Lime, Fresh Parsley

Directions: In a big pot or dutch oven, sweat garlic on olive oil for a few minutes, to extract flavor. Meanwhile, dice all veggies as fine as you can. Crank the heat to medium and saute them with the garlic. Add the beans, seasonings and bay leaf. Also, add the liquids: 3 parts stock and 1 part wine, just enough to fully immerse all the solids. Mash some of the beans to thicken the soup a bit. Let it reduce uncovered for at least half hour, stirring often. If it gets too thick, just add more stock. If it’s too thin, simply mash some more of the beans. If you want a smoother, less chunky soup, break out the hand blender. Now, right at the very end, throw in the shrimp, turn off the heat and stir for a minute or so. Do not overcook shrimp! Squeeze some lime juice just before serving. Ladle on a bowl and garnish with parsley, and maybe a thin slice of lime. Serve with toasted whole wheat bread or whatever bread you fancy.

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