Medium sized cooked prawns known as crevettes roses are cheap and good quality here. I buy them often from the fishmonger at the market, as do many people. I always save the heads and shells for making tasty fish stock, but I don't always get around to it and can build up a collection of little bags of prawn bits that sit in the freezer for quite a while. So I was glad to come across this super economical recipe for prawn chowder that uses them all up. The recipe is from a little book I received as a free gift from the supermarket. It's called Un dîner presque parfait ('Pretty Perfect Dinners') and has all sorts of advice for food shopping preparation and consumption.
It is rated as an easy, affordable entree for 4 people, taking 15 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to cook.
500g prawn heads and shells
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp brandy
150ml white wine
300ml fish stock
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 bouquet garni
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
- Peel the shallot and garlic and take out the germ.
- Finely chop the shallot, garlic and carrot.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
- Add the prawn heads and shells and stir well.
- Add the brandy, then the wine and stock.
- Dilute the tomato concentrate in 400ml water.
- Add it to the saucepan with the bouquet garni.
- Season with pepper.
- Bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover and leave to cook for 30 minutes.
- Strain the mixture, pressing the prawn heads and vegetables well to extract every last bit of their flavour.
- Reheat the soup gently for a few minutes and add the cream.
- Taste to check the seasoning. You probably won't need to add salt.