Coconut milk's rich flavor will keep you coming back for more of this substantial soup. A true Brazilian version would include slices of okra, but ours is already so satisfyingly thick that we left it out.
Brazilian Shrimp Soup
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup long-grain rice
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from one 15-ounce can)
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and cut in half horizontally
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the rice, red-pepper flakes, salt, tomatoes, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the rice is almost tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the coconut milk into the soup. Bring back to a simmer and then stir in the shrimp. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just done, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
Instead of the shrimp, use one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about three), cut crosswise into quarter-inch strips. Cook for the same amount of time.