© Leila Ashtari
Quick shrimp and corn chowder
A bag of shrimp in the freezer is the perfect dinner solution in a stir-fry, pasta or soup any night of the week. This creamy chowder, topped with a crumble of crispy bacon, is simple and fast, but be warned: you’ll probably be tempted to have a second bowl!
2 tbsp. (30 g) butter
1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp. (5 ml) dried thyme (or leaves from 1 fresh sprig)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) all-purpose flour
2 c. (500 ml) diced unpeeled potatoes
1 can (19 oz./540 ml) creamed corn
4 c. (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ lb. (225 g) small to medium shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and deveined
2 jars roasted red peppers, chopped
2 slices pancetta or bacon, coarsely chopped
¼ c. (60 ml) whipping cream (35 percent) (optional)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies start to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add potatoes, creamed corn, stock, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer chowder until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
Add shrimp and roasted red peppers. Simmer until shrimp turn pink and curl, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat until golden and crispy. If desired, stir in cream for a rich chowder. Reheat if needed. Serve soup garnished with pancetta and fresh herbs, if desired. Serves 4.
Tip For a thicker, creamier soup, before adding the shrimp, whizz half of the soup in a blender. Stir it back into the remaining soup.
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