We spent the first week of December in New Orleans. It was my first trip to The Big Easy! We saw and did a lot of amazing things while there. We spent an evening on Frenchmen Street listening to jazz, spent days touring plantations, air boating into swamps (swamps are surprisingly beautiful!) and touring the amazing homes of the Garden District. We also cruised the mighty Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez.
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But mostly we ate….and I have no regrets. New Orleans has some spectacular, rich, flavorful food! I was also lucky enough to squeeze in a cooking class with the talented, fun and sassy Chef Toya Boudy at The New Orleans School of Cooking in The French Quarter.
I had never cooked Creole food before and loved learning how. The classes are held in a gorgeous facility. If you are ever in New Orleans I highly recommend taking a class!
Chef Toya made the entire experience a blast. She kept us interested and entertained for 2 1/2 hours. Oh, and the food was spectacular!
We made a “Shrimp (or Chicken) and Artichoke Soup”. This is my my dairy paleo/Whole30 version. Gorgeous isn’t it?!
We also learned to make Crawfish Etouffee…
…and the signature dessert of New Orleans, pralines! We were happy. Not to mention full.
It was all so delicious I had a hard time deciding what recipe to share with you. But I decided on the “Shrimp (or Chicken) and Artichoke Soup”, two versions actually: the delicious original Creole recipe from The New Orleans School of Cooking as well as a Whole 30 version that I created.
Both are warm, comforting, and somewhat spicy! And I swear the Whole 30 version is just as good as the original…I mean look at it! Made with homemade broth, artichoke hearts, fresh herbs, spices and your choice of shrimp or chicken.
The Recipes~ Shrimp (or Chicken) and Artichoke Soup: Original and Paleo/Whole 30 Versions
This recipe comes from The New Orleans School of Cooking and features their Joe’s Stuff seasoning. You can find it here. Of course you can use any Creole seasoning you wish. The recipe below contains the traditional and Whole 30/Paleo version in bold font. I subbed heavy cream with coconut cream. Coconut cream is much thicker than coconut milk and I know you are going to ask so no, it does not make the soup taste like coconut. I also substituted the roux for a ‘slurry’. A slurry is like a roux but made by combining 2 parts water with 1 part arrowroot powder. It thickens soups and gravy just as well as a roux but is grain free! Once a slurry is added to a soup it needs to be taken off heat immediately. So in this recipe we add it last.
Shrimp (or Chicken) Artichoke Soup!
Creole food is spicy and let's just say the people of New Orleans don't shy away from butter, heavy cream or a rich roux but I also provide a Paleo/Whole30 version using coconut cream and arrowroot powder for thickening. Makes 8 very generous portions.
- 1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
- 2 cups green onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon thyme leaves stripped from stems
- 1 T Joe's Stuff Seasoning or your favorite cajun spice mix (plus more to taste)
- 24 oz quartered hearts packed in water, drained
- 1 quart heavy cream (Paleo/Whole30 use 2-14 oz cans coconut cream)
- 1/4 cup butter ( Whole 30/Paleo leave out)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (Whole30 Paleo use 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
- 1 pound medium sized raw shrimp, deveined/ or 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
- (whole foods market was also nice enough to remove the tails on my shrimp!)
- Sea salt to taste
- Traditional instructions (See Paleo Whole30 Instructions Below)
- Prep all ingredients.
- Combine artichoke, chicken stock, 1 cup green onions, garlic, sea salt, Joe's Stuff seasoning and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 12 minutes.
- Make roux: Place butter in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. When melted whisk in flour till smooth add to simmering pot. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with freshly chopped green onions and parsley for garnish.
- Note: There are 2 cups green onions total - 1 cup to put with other ingredients and one cup for garnish.
- Whole30 Paleo Instructions:
- Prep all ingredients.
- Put broth in large pot on high heat.
- Add 1 cup onions (reserving the rest for garnish), parsley, thyme, Joe's stuff seasoning and garlic.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat a little and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add coconut cream and whisk till smooth. Bring back to a simmer.
- Add shrimp (or chicken) and artichoke hearts, simmer for 5 more minutes.
- While soup simmers make 'slurry'.
- Combine water and arrowroot powder and whisk until smooth.
- Turn soup off heat. Add half the slurry and stir until soup thickens. If soup needs more thickening add more slurry, but keep in mind arrowroot thickens more when cool) If soup thickens up too much just add more broth to thin.
- Taste and add sea salt or Joe's seasoning if needed. Be mindful, it's spicy!
- Serve soup garnished with remaining green onions.
Whichever version of this soup you choose I am sure you are going to love it! What’s not to love? ~ Linda Spiker
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Post tags: Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, whole 30