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Scallop and leek soup


I like to use some chicken stock in this recipe as I find it adds a real silkiness to the texture, but for a stronger fishier flavour, you could buy a few more prawns and make more seafood stock.


Serves four as a starter


12 scallops

4 large raw prawns, unpeeled, preferably with heads

2 shallots, or small onions, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

a pinch of dried crushed chilli

a few fennel seeds

150g butter

200ml dry sherry

200ml water

2 leeks

500ml (homemade) chicken stock

a dash of cream


Peel the prawns and remove their heads. Set aside the flesh for a garnish and put the heads, tails, shells and legs into a saucepan with half the butter, the shallots, celery chilli and fennel seeds. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the prawn shells have turned pink and started to catch in places and the shallots have softened. Tip in the sherry and the water and let everything bubble away until reduced by half. Pass through a sieve, discard the prawn remnants, onion, etc, and set the liquid aside.


Peel, wash and finely chop the leeks. Saute lightly in a large pan with the rest of the butter until sweet and soft, but be careful not to let them colour or they will be bitter. Add the seafood stock and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.


Slice one scallop carefully into 4 discs for the garnish, and roughly chop the rest of them. Tip the chopped scallops into the soup and simmer for about 4 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth and return to the pan.


Heat a small frying pan until hot and add a little butter. Fry the prawns and the scallop discs until done.


Add the cream to the soup and heat to serving temperature. Ladle into individual bowls and float one prawn and one scallop disc on each before serving.

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