Sunday, October 31
Soup on Sunday: Venetian Crab Soup
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.