shrimp and lentil soup

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Servs: 4

At Aubergine, one of London's most stylish restaurants, this soup is whimsically called a "<I>capuccino</I>." Chef Gordon Ramsey tops it with a rich broth that has been foamed with butter. This simpler version (minus the frothy "cap") is equally delicious.

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  • add   5 large fresh tarragon sprigs
  • add   4 cups bottled clam juice
  • add   2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • add   10 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • add   1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • add   5 fresh basil sprigs
  • add   1 cup French green lentils
  • add   2 tablespoons olive oil
  • add   1/2 cup chopped onion
  • add   1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • add   1 large onion, chopped
  • add   2 bay leaves
  • add   1/4 cup brandy
  • add   1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • add   <B>For soup</B>
  • add   <B>For shrimp broth</B>
  • add   1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
  • add   2 carrots, chopped
  • add   1 cup dry white wine
  • add   1 leek, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
  • add   2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • add   1 pound uncooked large shrimp


  1. Make shrimp broth:
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel and devein half of shrimp. Reserve peeled shrimp for soup. Place shells and remaining shrimp on heavy large baking sheet. Roast until shells begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and next 8 ingredients and sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add roasted shrimp and shells, clam juice, wine, tomatoes and brandy. Simmer 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Strain broth into heavy large saucepan, pressing hard on solids. Boil broth until reduced to 4 cups, if necessary.
  4. Make soup:
  5. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and bay leaves and sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp broth and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer 1 1/2 cups soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add reserved shrimp to soup; simmer until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls.

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