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Chilled cucumber and prawn soup with crisp prawn heads

This recipe leaves nothing to waste; it's head-to-tail cooking if you will. The refreshing flavour of cucumber is great with prawns.

You'll need

2 tbsp olive oil 1 each small onion and carrot, coarsely chopped 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped 2 fresh bay leaves 300 gm uncooked prawns, peeled, deveined, shells and heads reserved 1 kg Lebanese cucumbers (about 8), unpeeled For deep-frying: vegetable oil


  • 01
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add reserved prawn shells and stir to combine. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush shells as much as possible and stir occasionally until shells change colour (4-5 minutes). Add 1 litre water, bring to the simmer and cook for 30 minutes, then add prawn meat and continue simmering until just cooked (1-2 minutes). Cool to room temperature, then remove prawn meat, coarsely chop and refrigerate until required. Strain stock through a fine sieve (discard solids), then refrigerate until chilled.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, juice cucumbers (reserve 2 to serve) in a juicer or process in a food processor until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve (discard solids). Season to taste and refrigerate until well chilled.
  • 03
  • Press prawn heads as flat as possible with the flat of a large knife, discarding any innards. Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry prawn heads in batches until very crisp (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit), drain on absorbent paper and season to taste.
  • 04
  • Remove seeds of reserved cucumber, then finely dice and set aside. Combine cucumber juice and 250ml of prawn stock (freeze remaining for another use), divide among chilled serving bowls, add chopped cucumber, prawn meat and prawn heads and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Dry, floral riesling.

Featured in

Dec 2011

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