Peel and devein shrimp, but keep shells.
Heat a medium pot over high and add the olive oil, and the shrimp and the shells. Over high heat, saute, stirring, until they turn bright red and develop a pronounced shrimp aroma. Remove and discard shells. Remove about 1/4 of the shrimp to use whole in soup as garnish. (Two - 3 shrimp per bowl of soup.)
Stir in the onion, leek, celery, garlic and jalapeno and saute for another five minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, lemon grass, chicken broth, potato, and tamarind and bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately lower to a strong simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until all of the vegetables have become soft.
Strain the solids from the liquid and pass through a food mill. Return milled solids to the soup and bring back to a simmer. Add the reserved shrimp and simmer for five minutes or until the shrimp are heated. Stir in lemon juice and chopped herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls, being sure to get shrimp into each.
Contributor: pat ciesla
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