This is a real treat. A silky-smooth prawn bisque that is well worth the modicum of effort involved.
The richness of the bisque is offset by the crunch of the fennel, the zing of the sorrel and the fire of fresh chilli.
For the stock (amounts will change depending on how many heads and shells you have):
Leftover prawn heads and shells
Fresh ginger, cut into pieces
Shallot or onion
Toast the prawn heads and shells in a little olive oil.
Tip them into a pot (with a lid) and add the garlic, ginger, salt and shallot.
Cover with water and bring to the boil. Press down on the heads with a potato masher to extract as much flavour as possible.
Cover with a lid and simmer for around an hour.
Strain through a sieve until you have a translucent pink-brown stock.
For the salad:
1 bulb fennel
1 large red chilli or 2 bird's eye chillis
400g butter beans
1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Finely slice the fennel.
Cut the sorrel into ribbons and chop the chilli.
Rinse the butterbeans.
Combine them all in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
For the bisque:
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 bay leaf
40ml double cream
1tsp tomato puree
Dill, to scatter
Melt 20g butter in a saucepan until it foams and soften the shallot and carrot gently for about 8 minutes.
Add the brandy and turn the heat up for 1 minute.
Lower the head to medium and add the prawn stock, bay leaf, white pepper and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and blend.
Pass through a sieve and return to the saucepan. Heat on high until reduced by about a third, then stir in the double cream to combine.
Pile the salad in the middle of a soup plate, then pour the bisque around it.
Scatter with the dill.