If you are looking for the perfect Mardis Gras inspiration, Creamy Shrimp Creole Soup with Bacon-Cornmeal Dumplings could not be a more perfect choice to round out your celebration.
The gorgeous color is the first giveaway to the over the top flavor. By using all the right ingredients, salt and pepper aren’t even necessary…it tastes fantastic as is, and by the way, it is spicy.
We always have a few Mardis Gras dishes this time of year but don’t nearly indulge in all the flavors of the South often enough. They really awaken your taste buds.
Don’t worry if you’ve never made dumplings before, they are so easy to throw together, a couple imperfect rolls and they are good to go.
The dumplings take on the color of the soup and have a nice smoky flavor with the addition of bacon.
I hope you’ll give it a try!
Creamy Shrimp Creole Soup with Bacon-Cornmeal Dumplings
For the soup:
- 3/4 pound raw large shrimp, deveined and tails removed
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 1-1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3-1/4 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup V-8 juice, original flavor
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup scallions, minced
For the dumplings:
- 3.4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Cook chopped bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove half the cooked bacon from the pan and 1 Tablespoon drippings (keep separate), reserve this for the dumplings.
- Add celery and onion to the remaining bacon and drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds more. Whisk in flour and cook until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Stir in stock, V-8, tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, thyme, sugar, cayenne and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes while it thickens. Add heavy cream after the soup has simmered its 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the dumplings, combine flour, green onions, cornmeal and baking soda; whisk together. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bacon, reserved 1 Tablespoon of drippings and buttermilk; stir until a moist dough forms. Gently divide mixture into 12 equal portions.
- After soup has simmered for 15 minutes, drop dumplings, 1 at a time into pot. Cover and cook 8 minutes, carefully turning them halfway through the 8 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for three more minutes or until shrimp are opaque in color.
- Garnish each bowl with parsley and scallions.
- ~If you think this might be too spicy for you, only add 1/2 of the Tabasco and cayenne at first. Taste to determine if you want to add more.
Here is a bite-sized piece of the dumplings, the perfect addition to this soup.
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