Servings: Serves 6–8
In a wide (4-quart) saucepan, cook onion, leek, and fennel in butter over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; continue to cook until most of the water from tomatoes has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add sherry and simmer until reduced by half, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in prawns, rice, cream, and half-and-half; bring to a simmer. Add parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, then gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
Discard herbs and prawns. Puree soup in a blender, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper; season to taste with salt.
Quickly boil extra prawns (if using) until no longer translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Place 1 boiled prawn in each bowl with a few extra herb sprigs (if using).
Chef Armstrong recommends pairing this dish with a Fino sherry.
From the March 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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