Crab Soup

I just made the most amazing crab soup for lunch. Seriously, its the best crab soup I’ve ever had. Unfortunately I just threw it together as an experiment with low expectations, so hopefully I’ll be able to reproduce it.

The crabs came from the fish store, pre-cooked in a plastic bag. Not whole crabs, just the arms and claws of blue crabs, boiled with Old Bay or Zatairans. $3 per bag, or 2 for $5. The first bag I fought with to eat as is, and it was dry and overcooked and a pain in the ass to extract from the shells, which were brittle and the meat clung to them. Hence the idea to make soup with the remaining bag. I didn’t weight them, but it was probably 1-2 pounds.

I smashed the crabs with a meat tenderizer while still in the bag, to expose the meat and break up the shells.

Into the saucepan (next time use a 4 qt stock pot) went 2 TB of butter, then a small sliced onion, 2 cloves garlic, a stalk of celery, a peeled carrot, and a bay leaf. I also added the wing tips, heart, gizzard, and neck of a chicken for extra depth and meatiness. Cook chicken and vegetables over medium heat until browned on both sides.

Add crab bits, and stir to mix with vegetables. Sprinkle about 3 TB of flour, and mix well to coat evenly and make a roux, cook for a minute or two.

Deglaze with a healthy splash or two of brandy or cognac, and about 1/2 cup of sherry, stirring well to incorporate into the roux and form the base of the soup. Season with a few TB of Goya Sofrito (I use the frozen kind that comes in the plastic coolwhip container) and a dollop of Goya Recaito in the tall glass jar. Mix in a small can of unsalted tomato sauce.

Season to taste with cumin, red pepper flakes, and garam masala.

Add about 1 liter of boiling water, bring back up to boil, and simmer over low heat for about an hour.

Strain through wire mesh strainer into soup bowls, garnish with whatever crab meat you can pick out of the shells.

Very simple and easy to make, and tasted like the $16 bowls of soup at a fancy restaurant, you’d never know its humble origins.

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