- Shells from 1–2 pounds of shrimp
- 8–10 whole peppercorns
- 1–2 large bay leaves
- Medium yellow onion with skin on and quartered; quarter slices halved (skin adds color)
- 2 celery stalks with leaves rough chopped1 carrot rough chopped
- 2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of whole or ground dried shrimp (optional)
- 6 cups of water
- If shrimp shells and heads are fresh place in a large colander and rinse under cold running water. If shells are frozen and you rinsed before you froze, you can skip this step.
- Place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed large stockpot, add water, and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. Skim occasionally if needed.
- Remove the stock from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve into a clean container. Let the stock cool completely. Refrigerate the stock for up to 3-4 days or freeze in airtight containers for up to 6 months.