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River House She-crab Soup

Photo: Jean Allsopp
Yield Makes 9 cups
We think this hearty soup is best served steaming hot with a splash of sherry and garnished with chopped hard-boiled egg and freshly ground black pepper.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pinch of curry powder
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 5 cups clam juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 pounds fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter with oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

  2. Stir in flour and next 5 ingredients; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add sherry and clam juice; stir until well blended. Stir in parsley and tarragon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until reduced to 4 cups.

  3. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a separate bowl or pan, pressing on solids with a spatula; discard solids. Return soup to Dutch oven; stir in cream. Cook over medium heat 25 minutes or until soup is thickened. Add crabmeat; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.