Good Friday shrimp soup (Zuppa di Venerdi Santo)

Good Friday is not a public holiday in Italy but in the past when Friday was still a “lean” day for the Church, this was traditional Good Friday fare for the Romans. It is much simpler than most fish soups and I happily recommend this elegant, amber-coloured soup for any day of the year.

1 kilo unshelled prawns, shrimps or lobster

2 litres fish stock made from the washed but discarded heads and shells, 1 celery stick, 1 carrot, 1 small onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper

4 cloves garlic

200 g can of peeled Italian tomatoes

2 whole salted anchovies or 6 fillets

chopped parsley

4 T extra virgin olive oil

salt and 1  crumbled dry chilli pepper (optional)

Clean the shellfish and make the stock by boiling all the stock ingredients together for 20 minutes. Heat the oil and add the chilli, finely chopped anchovy, garlic and parsley. Puree the tomatoes and stir into the fish stock. When the garlic begins to turn colour add the filtered stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut the shellfish into thin strips and add to the soup. Cook for a further five minutes then check the salt.



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