Creamy and spicy, this update on the classic Irish soup will impress any foodie and is hearty enough to be a meal in itself.

This dish is part of our pub fare menu.
Servings: Serves 6–8
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 medium leek , chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel , chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 plum tomatoes , chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Oloroso sherry
  • 1 pound medium head-on prawns or shrimp (about 25 to 30), plus a few extra for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 6 sprigs of parsley , plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme , plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
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.


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