2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced shallot
¼ cup minced celery
¼ cup minced carrot
1 ½ pounds shrimp, preferably with heads on, shells (and heads) removed and reserved
1 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño
2 teaspoons ground cumin
One 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
8 ounces boneless and skinless cod, halibut, sea bass, or other firm white fish fillet, about ½ inch thick
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
¾ cup uncooked Arborio, Baldo, or other medium-grain white rice
½ cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
1 ear corn, husked, ends trimmed, cob cut into ½-inch-thick disks
4 to 6 large eggs (1 per serving)
2 ounces queso fresco, or other lightly salted white cheese such as ricotta salata, or a very mild feta
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1. For the shrimp stock: Heat the olive oil in a large wide saucepan. Add the shallot, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp shells and their heads, if you have them. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the shells turn dark red, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water; heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Working in batches, puree the shells with the liquid in a blender. Set a strainer over a large bowl and strain the pureed stock; discard the solids. There should be about 5 cups stock. Refrigerate until ready to use. (The stock can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.)
3. In a large wide saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, and jalapeño. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until sizzling. Add the cumin; cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp stock and tomatoes. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead.)
4. For the fish: Sprinkle the fish on both sides with the oregano and salt and pepper to taste; rub into the fish. Coat with the bread crumbs, pressing them on with fingertips; shake off excess. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the fish and cook, turning once, until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Set aside, covered with foil, until ready to serve.
5. Reheat the tomato and shrimp stock mixture to a boil. Add salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons. Add the potatoes and rice; cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the shrimp, peas, and corn. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
6. While the rice and potatoes are cooking, warm the soup bowls in an oven set at the lowest temperature. Poach the eggs: Half-fill a large deep skillet or sauté pan with water. Heat to a boil; reduce to a simmer. One at a time, break the eggs into a small cup and slip into the simmering water. Cook the eggs until the whites are set, about 5 minutes. Gently lift from the water with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels
7. Divide the fish into portions and place a portion in each bowl. Place the poached eggs on top of the fish. Add the cheese and the cilantro, dividing them evenly.
8. Ladle some of the hot soup into a small bowl and stir in the heavy cream, then add to the soup. Reheat for 1 minute; do not boil. Add a generous grinding of black pepper. Ladle the hot soup into the bowls, dividing the ingredients evenly. Serve piping hot.
Feta cheese of any kind will be too salty here. To tame the saltiness, drain off the brine and rinse the cheese well under cold running water. Place the cheese in a clean container, cover with milk or water, and marinate for at least 1 day before using; drain well.
In Peru, canned evaporated milk is used in place of heavy cream. If watching calories, do not hesitate to use evaporated skim milk