Special credit to Patti Elkins for sharing this wonderful recipe she learned recently in New Orleans.
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 ½ pound bacon (use peppered bacon for extra flavor, cut into ½ inch pieces)
1 pound peeled deveined shrimp
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt or to taste
6 cups low sodium chicken broth (divided)
2 bay leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley, coarse chopped
Optional – Garnish with olive oil and fresh parsley
Steam cauliflower until soft then set aside.
Place Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and set aside on paper towel. Remove excess bacon fat from Dutch oven, leaving 2-3 tablespoons.
Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with salt. Add shrimp to Dutch oven and cook on both sides, about 2-3 minutes until pink. Remove and set aside.
Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot and sauté, tossing until translucent. Add garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, thyme and salt. Continue to sauté for about 1 minute.
Add 4 cups chicken broth and bay leaves.
Place cauliflower and 2 cups reserved chicken broth in high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add cauliflower puree to Dutch oven along with half the bacon. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and add fresh parsley, then use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth. Lastly, add shrimp back to the pot and heat through.Top each bowl of chowder with fresh parsley, and bits of bacon.