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.
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
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 bay leaf
some sprigs parsley
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.
Throw all the shells back into the stock to extract more flavor out of them.
Simmer the crab shells with the vegetables for at least half an hour longer to extract more flavor out of them.
Add 2 Tbsp cream and simmer for another 20 minutes over low heat, stirring now and then to prevent it from burning.
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.)
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.
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.