Sunday, October 31

Soup on Sunday: Venetian Crab Soup

Booooo! My newly acquired Venetian mask.

I just returned from a fabulous 4 days in Venice with SFERRA (more to come in a few days). Last night we hosted a Halloween cocktail party and our quests wore masks that I brought home for the occasion. While in Venezia I had an amazing, very complex, sophisticated crab soup that I am trying to recreate. This recipe from Epicurious just might be the ticket.

The truth be told, I should be posting Halloween cocktails today. My husband came up with a few winners for the occasion, including: an Ichabod, a Pumpkin French Martini, a Ghoultini and a Black Widow. They were the hit of the party.

Venetian Crab Soup:

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
Shrimp shells from 2 pounds shrimp (reserve shrimp for another use)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 large pinch saffron threads, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 California bay leaf or 1 Turkish
2 quart vegetable stock
1 (8-ounce) Yukon Gold potato
1 small celery root (celeriac)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

Heat oil in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook onion, celery, and fennel, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until shells turn pink. Stir in tomatoes with their juice. Simmer, breaking up tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon, 3 minutes, then add ginger, saffron, curry powder, and bay leaf and simmer 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock and boil uncovered 5 minutes.

Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then purée soup (including shrimp shells) in batches in a blender until finely ground, about 2 minutes per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids). Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot, discarding solids.

Peel and dice potato. Peel and dice enough celery root to measure 1/2 cup. Add potato and celery root to soup and gently simmer uncovered until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8 as a first course.

26 comments:

HUTTON said...

RONDA... VERY GLAM... YOU SHOULD HAVE HAD THAT LAST FEBRUARY FOR CARNIVALE IN VENICE!!! YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN THE HIT OF THE ENTIRE SAVE VENICE GALA WITH A MASK/HEADDRESS LIKE THAT!!! BRING IT TO L.A... IT WILL ALSO BE PERFECT FOR DINNER AT "DAWNRIDGE"!!! LOVE... HUTTON

ALL THE BEST said...

It's on the calendar Hutton! xoxo

Jay said...

Gorgeous and Yum. Both the soup and you.

quintessence said...

The mask is spectacular!! And I love the photo - so graphic and contrast-y. My husband isn't a crab fan so won't be making the soup but sounds great!

Ideezine said...

Ronda,

What a great way to finish off a wonderful October. Now we conclude our last two months of 2010 with much celebrate. Cheers!

Bette

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

What a great mask! I can't wait to try this soup. Anything even suggestive of Venice, I'm in! I've been lucky enough to go there a couple of times and there is no other place like it, as you know.

Design Elements said...

spactacular mask, Ronda! Happy Halloween!

Karena said...

Ronda very glamorous and sophisticated, the perfect mask for you!!

Xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks everyone!! xo

Splendid Sass said...

I can't wait to try this soup. I have shrimp broth in the freezer, so I'm going to run get crabmeat. Perfect Sunday afternoon meal. Add a salad and toasted bread; YUM!
Happy Halloween.
Teresa

ALL THE BEST said...

Perfect!! Enjoy the soup Teresa. x

honeybeeandme said...

You look hot it that mask...
Hope it leads to some romance??????
I would love to know what your husband put in those drinks???


xxoo
Melissa

ALL THE BEST said...

waaahhhhaaaahahaha....that's my evil, mischievous laugh Melissa. Thank you! xo

mary said...

I have missed "Soup on Sunday", but this recipe definitely makes up for the loss. I am on my way to the store (Trader Joes) for the ingredients. This is an amazing recipe. Thanks immensely. And welcome home/Happy Halloween!

Picnics in Provence said...

Ronda, I have exactly the same mask in my closet here in Melbourne - bought in Venice 2 years ago! Knew you had good taste girl!
Nikki

24 Corners said...

Yum!! Sounds delish and very fancy...and you look very fancy in that mask! The Venetian's really know how to do the whole mask dress up thing don't they?!

Happy Halloween!
xo J~

Alex said...

I'd say smokin' hot Melissa!

La Petite Gallery said...

Sounds delish, a good time of year for soup.
happy haunting,
yvonne
Stop over sometime

Aspiring Kennedy said...

This looks fantastic... I didn't know there were crabs near venice.:) Either way, I'll take it.

Love that you are a texas girl in the UK. I'm a Dallas girl in Oxford coming from luxury home goods. I think I would like you. :)

ALL THE BEST said...

Aspiring Kennedy I am sure that we would! Yes, lot of crab on the menu in Venice...love it!!

Caigo da Mar said...

Hi Ronda,
Nice to hear you were here, in Venice again, and with Sferra, would love to hear more about your trip, cannot wait!

Have to say that your mask is one of the best you can find here, very elegant. Waiting to see you maybe for Carnevale!

Love to read your incredibly professional blog!

Ciao Ronda, a presto!
Susanna

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Susanna! I do LOVE Venice! Hoping to return very soon. xo

Maureen said...

I read your blog on a fairly regular basis. I was also in Venice recently and thought that I saw a woman who looked like you. I recall she was wearing a poncho (which is why I noticed - I was admiring the poncho) and entering a store near the Piazza San Marco. Might it have been you?

ALL THE BEST said...

Maureen that is too strange! Yes, I was wearing a grey and black ponco with jeans.

Kimberly Grigg said...

I featured this blog post of yours on my FAB FRI Top 10 Blog Posts..... click on this link to see it.....
http://www.knottinghillinteriors.com/blog/2010/11/fab-friday-10-fabulous-blog-posts/ .

Comfyheaven Home Decor -Anita said...

gorgeous...absolutely inspiring and a feast for the eyes.