Corn Soup with Crab

DSC01419
When I read about the “Luscious Creamy Corn Soup with Crab” on Richard McGary’s blog REMCooks, I immediately knew I just had to try this. I hardly ever cook with either corn or crab, so this would be something new and exciting. It was quite a bit of work, but it turned out great! This is a very elegant dish for a fancy dinner party or special occasion. Thanks for the idea, Richard!

The local North Sea crab is a bit different from the king crab that Richard used. King crab is available here, but only deep frozen and ridiculously expensive. North Sea crab has a very flaky texture, so I think it will be even better with king crab. The combination of the creamy corn soup and the crab works very well and makes for an interesting contrast in texture. The crab and the corn soup by themselves are good, only together they are outstanding. Rather than using chicken stock, I used the shells from the crab and the corncobs to make the stock. I love recipes where all the flavor is extracted from the ingredients, even when you’re not eating them whole.

Ingredients

DSC01363
For 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings as an appetizer

1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) raw crab legs

2 ears fresh, sweet, winter corn on the cob

80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine (Richard said to use sherry, but I didn’t have any)

80 ml (1/3) cup brandy or cognac

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp minced shallots

2 Tbsp cream

salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)

1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper

1/2 Tbsp minced (garlic) chives

1/2 Tbsp minced fresh flatleaf parsley

DSC01365
For the stock

1/2 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 bay leaf

some sprigs parsley

Preparation

DSC01366
Richard simply wrote to “prep the corn by removing the kernels from the corncob”. I had never done this before, but Google is a faithful friend and told me that you can shave off the kernels with a (large) knife.

DSC01367
Shave off all the kernels and reserve the corncobs for the stock.

DSC01370
Put the veggies and herbs for the stock in a stockpot together with the corncobs and cover with about a litre (4 cups) of water. Bring to a simmer and let this simmer for 15 minutes.

DSC01380
Add the crab legs and simmer for 5 minutes.

DSC01382
Plunge the crab legs in cold water to stop the cooking process.

DSC01390
Remove the crab meat from the crab claws. Start by breaking off the “thumb”. A big piece of cartilage should come along with this.

DSC01392
Break the shell of the other three segments (with a special tool, but a regular hammer also works wonders) and remove the meat.

Throw all the shells back into the stock to extract more flavor out of them.

DSC01393
Continue until you have harvested as much crab meat as you can. I had about 300 grams (2/3 pound) or a yield of 30%.

Simmer the crab shells with the vegetables for at least half an hour longer to extract more flavor out of them.

DSC01384
First use a colander to get all of the big bits out of the stock. Then strain it again through kitchen paper or a cheese cloth to obtain a clear stock without scummy bits from the crab.

DSC01396
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots until translucent.

DSC01397
Add the corn and sauté for a few minutes.

DSC01398
Add the sherry (or white wine) and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.

DSC01401
Add the crab stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

DSC01403
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

DSC01405
Use a food mill (or a chinois) to filter the soup and make it completely smooth.

DSC01410
This photo is for Conor and Baby Lady. Not as pretty as Baby Lady’s photo though…

Add 2 Tbsp cream and simmer for another 20 minutes over low heat, stirring now and then to prevent it from burning.

DSC01411
The resulting corn soup will be very creamy and luscious. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and just a bit of freshly ground white pepper. (Do not use too much pepper because of the jalapeño used with the crab.)

DSC01412
Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a frying pan and add the jalapeño, chives, and red bell pepper. (I forgot to reserve some raw red bell pepper for this recipe, so used some leftover roasted red bell pepper instead. That’s why it’s not shown in the picture.) Sauté for a few minutes.

DSC01413
Add the crab meat (and in my case also the cooked red bell pepper) to warm them through. Be careful not to overcook the crab!

DSC01414
Add the brandy or cognac and toss to mix.

DSC01417
Place a 5 cm/2 inch ring mold in the middle of a warm soup bowl or plate and fill it with half of the crab mixture. Ladle half the soup around it.

DSC01418
Carefully lift the ring mold and garnish with some parsley. Repeat with the other half of the crab mixture and soup. Serve immediately.

Wine pairing

A complex elegant dish with round and sharp notes pairs well with a complex elegant white wine that is round but has some nice character as well. I opted for a Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige (Italy) and it worked very well. The roundness went well with the corn soup and the minerality went well with the crab.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Corn Soup with Crab

  1. Richard’s recipe caught my eye, too, Stefan, and it looks to me that you’ve done it justice. I really enjoy corn chowder and this one, with the crab center, is far beyond any that I’ve ever tried. I have to do something about that!

    Like

  2. Excellent way of moving the US special across the pond. The North Sea Crab looks excellent though your pouring shot still comes in a distant second to Baby Lady’s excellent work. Another cracker.
    Best,
    Conor

    Like

  3. Hi Stefan,
    Corn chowder with crab is one of those combinations that go so well together that it’s almost difficult to believe that you can have one without the other! It looks like you did an amazing job creating intense flavors. One thing that I love with corn chowder and crab is a touch of cayenne pepper. I find that a little bit of heat does wonders for balancing the sweetness of the corn and the crab. I imagine that the same results could be have if you leave the seeds in the jalepeno, but its always a matter of personal preference . Thanks for sharing the recipe. I bet it was delicious!

    Like

    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. You are right that the heat of a dish is a matter of personal preference. When you are used to heat, the dish will need to be hotter to notice it and vice versa. (I know of someone who thinks bell peppers are hot — amazing isn’t it?) I was worried the jalapeño would overpower the delicate taste of the crab, but I think I’ll try a bit more heat next time. Since it was a recipe from Richard I was extra cautious with the pepper, as he seems to be much more tolerant to (and fond of) chiles than I am.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.