Have you ever had a dish that, years later, you still dream about and crave? For me, that’s Shrimp Stew. When I was pregnant with my oldest son, 14 years ago, there was a little Mexican restaurant in our town that made it, and I’m pretty sure I had it weekly. The hurricanes of 2004 damaged the restaurant’s building and sadly, it never reopened. Since then, I’ve tried other seafood soups and even some that called themselves “shrimp stew,” but none have ever compared.
For whatever reason, I never attempted to make the shrimp stew…until tonight. However, given that my husband is not a fan of shrimp, I added chunked salmon so that he would have a protein (and so that he wouldn’t add BBQ sauce to his soup to hide the shrimp?!!??!).
The end result…I did it! It was just as I remember and I’m a happy eater!
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
2 garlic cloves–minced
1 stalk celery & tops–chopped
1 jalapeno–seeded & deveined
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 shrimp bouillon cube (available in large supermarket ethnic food aisles)
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 c. water
2 medium red skinned potatoes–cut into cubes
1 medium chayote squash–cut into cubes
1 medium zucchini–cut into chunks
1/2 lb. large shrimp–peeled & deveined
6 oz. salmon–cut into chunks
Crumbled Queso Fresco (Cotija)
Toasted Flour Tortillas
In a large saucepan, saute onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add bay leaf, salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Saute another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cubes into water by microwaving for 5 minutes. Add broth to soup. Bring to a boil and add potatoes and chayote. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes just begin to soften. Add zucchini and continue simmering until all veggies are tender. Place salmon chunks and shrimp on top, and gently stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until salmon and shrimp are opaque. Test salmon by cutting one chunk in half.
Garnish and serve with tortillas.