Potato Vichyssoise, Spiced Shrimp & Nettle Pesto

Pair with Estate Chardonnay

Classic soup with a fun, exotic and spicy twist!

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Yield: Serves 8-10
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 60 min



  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • kosher salt
  • one 8-ounce baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 7 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 ¼ pounds medium shrimp—shelled, deveined and halved horizontally
  • 2 teaspoons Turkish red-pepper paste or harissa
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  • 1 lb 16/20 size shrimp
  • 1/8 cup Ancho Pasilla powder
  • 1/8 cup Guajillo powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Aleppo, crushed
  • 1/8 cup sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle powder
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper
  • 1/8 cup garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy oil
  • 1/8 cup water

  • 2 cups of nettles
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a few turns of the pepper mill
  • 1/2 cup olive oil



  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, until barely softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Strain the broth into a bowl and transfer the shallots and potatoes to a blender.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 1 cup of the broth and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot.
  7. Stir in the remaining broth and season with salt. Bring the soup back to a simmer over moderate heat.

  1. Preheat broiler to high heat.
  2. Place all of the ingredients other than the shrimp into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Toss the shrimp with enough of the spice blend to coat each piece evenly.
  4. You will have extra spice rub, which will keep in the refrigerator for approximately a month.
  5. On a large sheet pan, arrange the shrimp in a single layer and broil for approximately one minute or until caramelized but not overcooked. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  1. Drop the nettles into a large pot of boiling salted water.
  2. Blanch the nettles for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, move them into an ice water bath to shock and cool.
  3. Squeeze out all the liquid and give the nettles a rough chop. You should have about 3/4 cup of cooked greens.
  4. Place the chopped nettles into your food processor along with Parmesan/Pecorino Romano, walnuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil. Process to the desired consistency, adding a bit more oil to thin out if necessary.
  5. To serve family-style, pour the soup into a large serving bowl and serve the shrimp on the side, drizzling with a little pesto for color.
  6. For a plated soup, pour soup into individual bowls, drizzle each serving with pesto, and place a few shrimp in the center.

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