This Shrimp and Chouriça Soup is spicy and smoky from the chouriça and full of umami from the shrimp, including homemade shrimp stock.
I made this with chouriça, as opposed to chouriço. The stuffing of chouriça can be similar to chouriço, but chouriça is made specifically from the Bísaro pig. The Bísaro pig is indigenous to Portugal and feed with a mixture of farm crops and chestnuts. I picked up chouriça transmontana, which is from the district of Guarda in the northeast of Portugal at the Spanish border.
This recipe starts with an easy shrimp stock. A good stock is a big starting point to a great soup. Making your own stock is cheaper, and it tastes better. If you want to shorten the time on this recipe, you can buy peeled shrimp and premade seafood stock.
I added piri piri chilis from Uganda; they are pretty hot. With the five piri piri I used, it came out with a mild spiciness. Thai chilis are a good substitute. Adjust peppers as desired.
I used a total of 1 teaspoon of salt to the soup, but I have a high salt tolerance so I suggest you taste it for yourself.
Smoked paprika adds a nice dimension to the dish, but regular paprika will do in a pinch.
Vinho verde is a great wine to use in this recipe, along with serving with it. It’s light and fresh with a high acidity.
Makes 2 servings
10 large head-on shrimp
½ cup white wine
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ teaspoon tomato paste
½ jarred roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes (canned is fine), roughly chopped
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon white pepper
5 red chilis
180g/ 6oz chouriço
Clean shrimp. Cut off heads and tails. Peel and devein. Put clean shrimp in refrigerator.
Make the shrimp stock. Place shells, heads, and tails in large pot. Pour enough water to cover shrimp. (I used about 6 cups). Add ½ teaspoon salt and white wine. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for one hour.
Strain, keeping stock and tossing shrimp remnants.
In a large pot over medium heat, add a generous amount of olive oil. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add tomato paste and cook another 30 seconds. Then add shrimp stock, bell pepper, tomato, chili peppers, paprika, and white pepper. Simmer 15 minutes.
Add chouriça and, if necessary, more water to cover. Simmer another 10 minutes. Taste for salt. Remove chouriça. Remove casing from chouriça, slice thickly, and return sausage to pot.
At a simmer, add shrimp and cook another 2-3 minutes, until shrimp is cooked.
Serve with crusty bread and rice (optional).
If you’d like to try another Portuguese soup, check out our recipe for White Bean and Chouriço Soup with Garlic Bread.