bowl of spicy shrimp soup with jalapenos

I’m sitting here at 10:41am eating leftover Spicy Shrimp Soup for breakfast because ITS DELICIOUSNESS KNOWS NO TIME NOR EARTHLY BOUNDS. Well, maybe earthly bounds. It’d be pretty hard to eat soup I guess…anywhere else?

Anyway, file Spicy Shrimp Soup under mission accomplished. See, there’s a wonderful Ecuadorian restaurant here in town that’s run by the nicest family, and was even featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The food is succulent, cooked from scratch, and satisfying in the way that only your Mom or Grandma’s cooking can be. You feel the love put into every dish.

Watch How to Make It!

Only problem is that last year I got sick eating my very favorite menu item, Camarones al Ajillo, or spicy shrimp in garlic sauce, which this restaurant serves as a soup. It isn’t the restaurant’s fault, as their menu doesn’t even have gluten-free items listed (very small and the waiters know every ingredient in every dish,) plus I’d eaten the soup dozens of times with no issues. My only guess is that the cook sprinkled in flour to thicken the dish up that day or something.

Super long-winded way to tell you that, as a result, Ben and I have been trying regularly and unsuccessfully for the past six months to recreate the soup at home, and last week we FINALLY got it right! I have a feeling the recipe title might not jump out at you at first glance, but selfishly I’m so glad to have this recipe perfected and documented because we will be making it for the rest of our days.

overhead photo of spicy shrimp soup

Spicy Shrimp Soup is comfort in a bowl. A combination of chicken and seafood stock simmered with jalapeno, a truckload of garlic, dried herbs and lime juice literally warms you from the inside out. Jumbo shrimp are cooked in the broth for a minute or two before being ladeled into bowls and served with cooked white rice, fresh cilantro, and raw jalapeno slices. The simmered jalapeno gives the soup warmth, while the raw jalapeno slices give each bite a little kick. This soup is SO spectacular.

How Spicy Is It

I don’t love dishes that blow my face off so, as written, with 1 being ice cream and 10 being a ghost pepper, I’d rate this recipe as a 5 on the heat scale. Lincoln can even eat it without the raw jalapeno slices.

It’s one part refreshing, on account of the lime juice and cilantro, while the jalapeno and hot broth will warm your soul. PLEASE try this spectacular, gluten-free soup recipe!

shrimp on a spoon digging into shrimp soup

How to Make Spicy Shrimp Soup

Start by melting 4 Tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat (doooon’t even try to skimp on the butter – 4 Tablespoons is what you need for the best flavor!) Add 1 large shallot that’s been finely minced and 5 garlic cloves that have been pressed or finely minced then turn the heat down just a touch and saute until tender and light golden brown, 5 minutes. The butter should just barely be sizzling as you don’t want the garlic to brown, just soften.

Sprinkle in 1 Tablespoon gluten-free flour (could use all-purpose flour, but the soup will not be gluten-free,) then stir to combine and saute for 1 minute.

Next add all the flavorings and goodies: 3 cups chicken stock, 2 cups seafood stock, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 jalapeno that’s been sliced away from the ribs and seeds (leave the ribs and seeds in for a spicier soup and/or use 2 jalapenos,) 3 small bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and salt, and 1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme and white pepper.

I recommend using stock versus broth in this recipe to get a souper (see what I did there) rich and comforting soup. Gluten-free seafood stock can be tricky to find, but Imagine brand is awesome if you can locate it!

Bring the soup to a boil then place a lid partially on top, turn the heat down, and simmer for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes are up, remove the jalapenos and bay leaves then season with fresh lime juice to taste. I usually end up using around 1/3 of a fresh lime.

Turn the heat to high to bring the soup back up to a boil then add 3/4lb jumbo shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. Leave the tails on or off – totally up to you.

The shrimp will cook in a minute or two, so once they’re pink and plump, scoop the soup into bowls then add cooked long grain white rice, plenty of chopped cilantro, and sliced raw jalapenos. The jalapenos that simmer in the soup add a wonderful warmth to the broth, while the raw slices lend a kick. Definitely don’t leave them or the cilantro out. Serve fresh lime wedges on the side and you are SET, my friend! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try – we really do love it so!! Enjoy!

Bowl of shrimp soup with jalapenos and cilantro

More 2 Bowl Worthy Soup Recipes

Spicy Shrimp Soup


Spicy Shrimp Soup is a copycat recipe from our favorite Ecuadorian restaurant. Spicy, garlicky, and comforting, you will eat bowl after bowl of this easy soup recipe!


serves 3-4

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 large shallot, microplaned or minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, microplaned, pressed or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups seafood stock (I like Imagine brand)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 jalapeños, divided (1 jalapeño sliced from the ribs/seeds, 1 sliced into rings)
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 limes (1 cut in half, 1 cut into wedges)
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • cooked white rice


  1. Melt butter in a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic then turn heat down a touch and saute until light brown and tender, 5 minutes - make sure butter is just barely sizzling as to not brown the garlic. Sprinkle in flour then stir to combine and saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Add tomato sauce then stir to combine, ensuring there’s no lumps in the flour/butter mixture. Add seafood stock, chicken stock, the jalapeño that’s been sliced from the ribs and seeds, bay leaves, and spices. Turn heat up to bring soup to a boil then turn back down to medium, place a lid partially on top and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and jalapeños then add lime juice to taste, and salt if needed. I usually use about 1/3 of a fresh lime.
  3. Turn heat back up to high to bring the soup to a boil then add shrimp and boil until cooked through - 1-2 minutes. Scoop soup into bowls then top with cooked rice. Add sliced raw jalapeños (these add a ton of flavor and heat vs just being a garnish so don’t skip!) and chopped cilantro then serve with lime wedges.


  • For a spicier soup, leave the ribs and seeds on the jalapeno that simmers in the soup, or use two jalapenos.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Photo collage of Spicy Shrimp Soup