1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion, coarse diced
1/2 cup chopped celery, medium diced
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, finely diced
10 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup bacon drippings
3 lbs. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
6 small artichokes (scraped pulp/chopped hearts
2 cups Campbell's Cream of Shrimp Soup
1 cup artichoke stock
1 tsp. sweet basil
2 pints heavy cream
3 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste (black and cayenne
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
Parsley for garnish
Start off by melting the butter in a 5 quart heavy aluminum Dutch oven and sauteing the chopped onions, celery and bell pepper until they soften. Then toss in the crumbled bacon, the drippings, and the chopped shrimp and simmer the mixture gently over low heat stirring constantly until the shrimp just turn pink (if you cook them any linger they will first become tough, then turn rubbery and gritty).
Next, drop in the chopped artichoke heart and pulp and fold them well into the mixture. Then stir in both the Cream of Shrimp soup and the artichoke stock (this is the water you poached the artichokes in then reduced to half its original volume).
This next step is very important!
While you continuously stir, bring the mixture to a boil. But as soon as the boil starts, reduce the fire to a low simmer and immediately cover the pot!
Then, after about five minutes of simmering, stir in the basil, the heavy cream, and the seafood seasoning, along with any extra salt and pepper you want, reduce the heat to simmer once again, and let the soup 'develop' slowly for yet another five minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent the cream from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
One suggestion: be sure to taste the sauce before you add that extra salt the seafood seasoning and the bacon may provide enough salt for you.
After the slow cooking period, remove the soup from the burner and allow it 'set up' for15 minutes so that the flavors marry and the sauce smooth. Then when you're ready to eat, reheat it gently, ladle it piping hot into soup bowls, garnish with parsley and green onions, and serve it with saltine crackers and a glass of white wine.
1. Just for the record, like most soups and bisques this one too gets better the next day. But I know very few people willing to wait until tomorrow to chow down on it! So enjoy...right out of the pot
2. Any size shrimp may be used for this soup (ideally the 40-50 count size being preferred since they can be peeled and dropped in whole); but if you must use larger ones, just cut them into pieces at each segment after you peel and de-vein them.
3. You may prepare this soup a day or two in advance and store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator; but I do not suggest that you freeze it, however, freeze it without the cream add it when you reheat the soup to serve it.
4. Note that this recipe will produce a rather thick soup, very rich and almost to the consistency of a bisque. If you'd prefer a thinner soup, substitute a pint of whole milk for one of the pints of heavy cream.