Shrimp Soup with Mexican Vanilla
In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight
Not long ago I bought an interesting and beautiful book called La Vainilla Mexicana (Mexican Vanilla). One of the more interesting soups involved shrimp and vanilla and as soon as I read about it I knew I had to make it. I didn't have time to translate the directions so I just made a soup using the ingredients and it was a thing of glory. I sauteed onion and garlic in olive oil and then added a chopped bunch of epazote, one rehydrated dried chipotle chile, and 1 chopped tomato. After they were cooked, I blended them in the blender with a little water and then returned the liquid to a soup pot (clay, natch). I added some chicken stock and when it was hot, I added about a pound of shrimp and a capful of our own Mexican vanilla extract. The shrimp cooked within minutes and I have to say it was a really wonderful dish. Remember that our vanilla was sourced by vanilla guru Patricia Rain and contains no funny business, as some Mexican extracts can. Vanilla is a Mexican orchid so it's fitting that the best should come from New Spain. I'm all ears if you have other savory ideas for vanilla. This was inspiring.