Creamy Shrimp Creole Soup w/ Bacon Cornmeal Dumplings

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This is another fabulous recipe courtesy of The Noble Pig.   Shrimp is my favorite seafood and I love it when it is paired with tomatoes and the tummy warming flavors of Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper.  I like my food spicy but feel free to reduce the amounts of both seasonings if you want a more mild flavor.  While the list of ingredients is long, the soup comes together quickly.  You can chop your vegetables while the bacon cooks then make the dumplings while the soup cooks.  Try it and love it tonight.

CREAMY SHRIMP CREOLE SOUP w/ BACON CORNMEAL DUMPLINGS

For the soup:

3/4 pound raw large shrimp, deveined and tails removed

4 slices thick cut bacon, diced

1 1/2 cups celery, diced

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/3 cup all purpose flour

3 1/4 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup original flavor V-8 juice

1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup scallions, minced

  • Cook the chopped bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp.  Remove half of the chopped bacon from the pan and 1 tablespoon of the drippings (keep separate), reserve this for the dumplings.
  • Add the celery and onion to the remaining bacon and drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.  Whisk in the flour and cook until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the stock, V-8, tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, thyme, sugar, cayenne pepper, and the bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil and cover.  Reduce the heat to allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes while it thickens.
  • Add the heavy cream once the soup has simmered for 15 minutes.

For the dumplings:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup finely chopped green onions

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup buttermilk

  • Combine the flour, green onions, cornmeal, and baking soda in a small bowl.
  • Cut the butter into the flour mixture with two knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Add the reserved bacon and drippings and the buttermilk stirring until a moist dough forms.
  • Gently divide the mixture into 12 equal portions.
  • After the soup has simmered for 15 minutes, drop the dumplings, 1 at a time, into the pot.
  • Cover and cook for 8 minutes, carefully turning the dumplings after four minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for three more minute or until the shrimp are opaque in color.
  • Garnish each bowl with parsley and scallions.

Serves 6

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