Also known as:
Minestra di Patate con i Gamberi
Recipe by: Valentina Harris
Source: “Slow: A fast track to relaxed eating.”
This is a luxury version of potato soup, though it can also be made using squash for a different, sweeter flavour. For a lighter version, simply boil or steam the prawns, then peel and add to the soup.
For the soup:
3 large shallots, sliced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500g (1lb) floury potatoes, peeled and diced
600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
200ml (7oz) double cream
500g (1lb) raw shelled prawns, headless, deveined and rinsed
sunflower oil for deep-frying
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the batter:
40g (1 3/4oz) plain white flour
5-6 tbsp water
1 egg white, chilled
Fry the shallots in the oil for about 4 minutes, then add the potatoes and stir together for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock and season to taste. Cover the soup and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely falling apart.
Pour the soup into a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth, adding a little vegetable stock if too thick. Return the soup to the rinsed out saucepan and season to taste, keeping it warm over a very low heat.
Meanwhile, to make the batter, whisk the flour and water together with a pinch of salt to form a thick paste with the texture of melted ice cream. In a separate bowl, which the egg white until it holds a stiff peak, then gently fold this into the flour paste.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a heavy based saucepan or a deep-fat fryer until it reaches 180-190C / 350-375F, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Dry the prawns thoroughly. Working in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan, dip them into the batter to coat them thoroughly, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Drop them into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper.
Bring the soup back to the boil, then take the pan off the heat and whisk in the double cream. Pour the soup into 4 heated soup bowls and drop an even number of the hot, crisp prawns in the centre of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle with a little pepper and serve.
Ratings Out of 10: John 6.5, Lynn 7