This simple spicy shrimp and white bean soup has a stick-to-your ribs attitude from its creamy base of pureed white lima beans and Idaho potato. Thanks to healthy fats from the olive oil and... the vitamins and minerals in the shrimp, it is a great choice for anyone who needs to keep their calorie intake up during cancer treatment. It’s quick to make and, despite the spicy marinade for the shrimp, its overall flavor is subtle. The spiciness of the harissa doesn’t overwhelm, instead it enhances the comforting velvety soup base, making this silky soup a delicious treat.
Mix the harissa and lemon juice together in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and mix to coat the shrimp well. Cover and set aside while you make the soup.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a medium high flame until it shimmers. Add the shallots cook for 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the potato. Sprinkle with salt and sauté until they too start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the lemon water mixture and stock. Bring to a boil, lower the flame to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lima beans and cook another 10 minutes or until both the potatoes and beans smash easily against the side of the pan. Drain over a heatproof bowl. Return the strained broth to the pan and to a blender, add the drained potato and beans and blend at high speed with ¼ cup of olive oil, gradually adding 1 cup of the broth as needed to make a fine puree. Stir the puree back into the broth until well blended. Bring to a low boil stirring. Taste for salt.
When the soup is just boiling, turn the heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are just pink and cooked through. Serve in bowls dividing the shrimp between them. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of each bowl.
If you can find it, use Turkish red pepper paste. Use 1 tablespoon as you won’t need to add the lemon juice. I always use the large lima, or butter beans known as ‘gigantes’ for this soup. They have such a creamy texture. Look for them in the International or Goya aisle of your market.