Friday, January 11, 2013

Crema de Camarones (Creamy Shrimp Soup)

This a delicious creamy soup very popular in the coastal cuisine of Colombia. This version is from the port city of Buenaventura in the Pacific Coast and was introduced to me by a native of this city that taught me not to discard the shrimp shells when making Ceviche. Normally I use the shrimp meat to prepare another dish, but you can also incorporate it to the soup as well.

  • 1 pound Shrimp with heads and shell
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper corn
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or fish bouillon
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can Coconut milk (reserve 4 tablespoons to garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chopped parsley to serve


Wash,  peel and clean the shrimp and set a side in the fridge. 

Place the shells and heads in a large pot with 6 cups of water, celery stalks, peppercorn, bay leaves and fish sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the celery, pepper corn and bay leaves.

Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender for 4 minutes. 

Pass through a fine strainer, discard the shells and set the stock aside.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil at medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion for 3 minutes  Add the shrimp chopped (optional, you can use the shrimp for a salad or any other recipe).

Add the stock and bring to boil, add the tomato paste.

Incorporate the coconut milk.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk and add to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt & pepper.

Serve pouring a tablespoon of the reserved coconut milk and garnish with minced fresh parsley.