Spicy Shrimp Soup Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes


For the flavorful base:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the broth:

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 bay leaf

The star:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt to taste.

To serve:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cooked white rice (optional)


Sauté the aromatics:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Build the flavor base:

  • Stir in the tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Cook for another minute to allow the spices to bloom.

Simmer the broth:

  • Add the chicken or vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (with their juices), and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld.

Cook the shrimp:

  • Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink and are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Finishing touches:

  • Stir in the lime juice and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Serve and enjoy:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with cooked white rice on the side, if desired.


  • Fresh vs. frozen shrimp: You can use fresh or frozen shrimp. If using frozen, thaw first and pat dry before adding to the soup.
  • Additional spice: For more heat, add a finely chopped jalapeño or habanero pepper along with the aromatics.
  • Make it your own: Add other vegetables like corn or spinach. A splash of coconut milk can add extra creaminess and richness.


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