Frank’s Shrimp Fricassee Soup

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups pre-chopped seasoning vegetables

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies (10-ounce size)

8-10 cups canned chicken stock

2 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut

2 bay leaves

3/4 cup cooked white rice

3 teaspoons Frank Davis SeafoodSeasoning

4 pounds peeled and deveined fresh Louisiana shrimp, chunked

1 bunch green onion tops, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Start by melting the butter and the olive oil together in a 10-quart stockpot over a medium heat. Then evenly sprinkle in the all purpose flour and quickly whisk it into the fat to form the basis for a light French roux (one that is not browned). After about 4 or 5 minutes (whisking continuously), or just until you see the edges of the flour show signs of browning, drop in the pre-chopped seasoning vegetable mixture, plus the garlic and the mushrooms this addition stops the browning action of the flour and will keep the soup base an almost Bechamel color.

At this point, add to the pot the white wine, the Rotel tomatoes, and the chicken stock and stir everything together until uniformly mixed.

It is imperative at this stage of the game that you now bring the pot of soup to a rolling boil. But once it boils, immediately reduce the fire to medium-low and stir in the basil, the bay leaves, the cooked rice, and the seafood seasoning. Then lower the flame even more and simmer the soup uncovered for about 20 minutes to fully marry all the flavorings.

Finally, increase the heat under the pot to medium high and when the soup once again begins to boil, drop in the shrimp, stir them in well, and cook them hard for exactly 2 minutes but no more!. At that point, reduce the fire to low once again and allow the soup to simmer for a final 10 minutes uncovered until piping hot. Then just before you're ready to serve, adjust the seasoning one more time to your taste, if necessary.

All that's left to do is to ladle out the soup into heavy crockery bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of green onion tops and fresh parsley. I know you're not supposed to, but I like to have just a little hot buttered French bread on the side in case you want to do a little soppin'.


Chef's Notes:

1. Yes, use the liquid in the Rotel can! Do not discard it! It becomes part of your soup!

2. This soup can be made days in advance and reheated when you're ready to serve it. It also freezes well.

3. This soup is not very thick. Its consistency is more along the lines of a heavy flavored broth or bouillabaisse.

4. You can buy pre-chopped 'seasoning vegetables' in the produce department at your supermarket. The packages contain onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and green onions chopped super fine. And they will keep in your refrigerator for at least 7 days and will eliminate a lot of 'prep' work.

5. If you can't find Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning where you shop, you can order it by going to my webpage