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Spiced prawn soup

Serves 4-6

If you followed my suggestions for last week and are planning to make the prawn salad for your Christmas Day starter, you can use the leftover shells to make this soup. If you have any prawns left, you can add them at the end with the coriander.

A good knob of butter

500g cooked shrimps or prawns in the shell or prawn shells
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1tsp fennel seeds
A good pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme
1tbsp tomato purée
100ml white wine
80g pudding rice
2 litres fish stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium chilli, finely chopped
A piece of root ginger weighing about 40g, scraped and grated or finely chopped
2tbsp chopped coriander

Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the prawns, onion, leek, garlic, fennel seeds, saffron, bay leaf and thyme for 4-5 minutes with a lid on, stirring every so often. Add the tomato purée, white wine, rice and fish stock, season and bring to the boil.

Simmer very gently for 1 hour, then blend in a liquidiser until smooth and strain through a fine sieve.

Add the chilli and ginger and simmer gently for about 10 minutes and re-season if necessary.

Stir in the coriander and serve.