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Yampi Root and Shrimp Soup

Shrimp Soup
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By: Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN

Yampi is a root vegetable in the yam family.  It looks very similar to yucca or cassava but its texture is very different.  Yampi has actually been called the “slippery root” because it has a slimy texture when it’s raw and cooked.  At the same time, Yampi has enough starch to act as a thickener in soups and sauces.  For example, in this soup, the starch in Yampi thickens the soup making it smooth and rich without the need of any cream or roux (combination of flour and butter used as a base in thick and creamy dishes).  Thus, it has less fat than many other creamy soups. Feel free to add a variety of vegetables to make this dish more nutrient dense. Enjoy!

Ingredients & Method

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined (reserve the shells)
  • 1 lb yampi root
  • 1-2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1-14 oz cans unsalted vegetable broth)
    Salt and black pepper to taste

Cover shrimp shells with cold water and bring to a boil.  Immediately after, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, discard the shells and reserve broth.  (Use the can of the broth to measure out the water).

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In a bowl, season shrimps with salt and pepper and set aside.

Remove the skin from the Yampi root with a vegetable peeler.  Rinse with cool water and pat dry.  Grate the vegetable using a coarse blade and reserve.

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In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until transparent.  (About 3-4 minutes).

Add garlic and stir until fragrant.

Add the reserved shrimp broth, vegetable broth, carrots and shredded Yampi.  Season with salt, pepper and bay leaf.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the pot.

Add the seasoned shrimp, cook for an additional minute and remove from heat.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

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