Spanish prawn soup with saffron mayonnaise

The shells and heads of the prawns are used to make a rich stock as the base for this colourful Spanish-style soup from Silvana Franco
By Silvana Franco
Spanish prawn soup with saffron mayonnaise
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the prawn soup

  • 750 g whole raw prawns, shell on
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • pinches dried red chilli flakes
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 75 g short grain rice, such as paella or risotto rice

For the saffron mayonnaise

  • pinches saffron
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • garlic, crushed
  • squeeze lemon juice


1. For the prawn soup: peel the prawns and remove the heads. Set aside, reserving the shells and heads.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the prawn shells and heads and fry for a further 3-4 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, rosemary, paprika and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute then pour in the wine and boil for 1-2 minutes. Pour in 2 litres of water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

4. Strain the contents of the pan through a sieve into a clean pan, discarding the shells. Stir the rice into the strained liquor and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.

5. For the saffron mayonnaise: while the soup is simmering, stir the saffron into the mayonnaise with the crushed garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.

6. To finish the soup, add the peeled prawns to the soup and cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size, until they are pink.

7. Use a handheld blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency then return to the heat and warm through.

8. Ladle into warm serving bowls and top each with a spoonful of saffron mayonnaise.

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