Simple Shrimp Chowder

Simple Shrimp Chowder

I had lofty goals to make two or three different shrimp recipes tonight, so I went out and bought tons of different ingredients and three pounds of shrimp, figuring about 1 pound of shrimp per recipe. Well, I got lazy and ended up just making shrimp chowder. with. loads. of. shrimp. Seriously...this chowder is brimming with shrimp. I highly recommend taking an additional 20 minutes to make your own shrimp stock. You will notice an amazing difference in the richness of the broth. My husband LOVED it and after two bites, declared: "I rate this 4.5/5. I would give you a 5, but you need to have something to aspire to." So, take that for what you will!

I also roughly chopped most of the shrimp but left a few whole, this adds to the "shrimp in every bite" philosophy I have when I make shrimp chowder!


Serves: 10-12

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 1 hour 40 minutes (45 minutes inactive)


3 pounds of un-peeled shrimp (I used 26/30)

2 tablespoons butter

12 ounces slab bacon

2 leeks, white and light green parts only

2 large russet potatoes

6 plum tomatoes

1 14.5-ounce can of creamed corn

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon celery salt

Cayenne pepper to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Minced chives for serving (optional)


Prep Ingredients: Peel and devein the shrimp, and reserve the shrimp shells. Roughly chop most of the shrimp, keeping about 15-20 shrimp whole. Chill in the fridge until ready to use. Cut the bacon into lardons. Remove the tough outer layers of the leeks and rinse thoroughly. Cut in half length wise then dice cross-wise. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes. Keep the potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat the butter in a large stock pot. Once frothy, add the shrimp shells. Cook for 5 minutes, mashing gently with your spoon every so often. Add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the stock. Discard the shrimp shells.

Wipe out the stock pot and return to the heat. Add the bacon and cook over medium high until crispy, turning every so often, about 7-8 minutes. Add the chopped leeks and cook until softened about 7-10 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, and creamed corn and stir to combine. Pour in the reserved stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat, season with pepper, a bit of celery salt, and a touch of cayenne pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Increase heat to medium high and add the shrimp to the soup and cook for 5-7 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.

Add heavy cream and stir to combine, cook for 5 additional minutes before removing from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

To serve: Divide soup between bowls, making sure each bowl gets one or two whole shrimp. Garnish with chives and a touch of cayenne powder if desired. Enjoy!

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!