Basic Shrimp Broth for Soups, Stews, and Sauces

Preparation info
  • Makes about

    2½ Quarts

    • Difficulty


Appears in

By James Peterson

Published 2007

  • About

The best way to extract the intense flavor carried in shrimp heads is to make a broth, which can then be used as the base for shrimp soups and stews. The broth can be frozen for months or kept refrigerated for up to 5 days (boiling every 5 days will allow you to keep it in the refrigerator indefinitely.)


  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb or the stalks of a fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small car


In a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the broth, cook the onion, fennel, and carrot and cook in the oil over medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add the shrimp heads and shells, raise the heat to high, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture smells fragrant and the heads and shells turn orange.