Blue Crab and Summer Vegetable Soup


Serves: Serves 5

Courtesy of: Chef Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

Broth:

  • 1/2 pound blue crab bodies, rinsed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and medium diced
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium diced
  • 2 celery stalks, medium diced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 15 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ounce fresh thyme, tied with twine

Instructions:

Break up the crab bodies and set aside. Heat oil in a 12-quart stock pot. Once oil is nice and hot, add crab bodies one by one, being sure not to splash oil on your arms. Stir with a large spoon over high heat until all the water is cooked out of the crabs and they begin to turn dark red and/or golden in color. As bits of crab begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, scrape them off with your spoon: This is called “fond” and adds lots of flavor. Once your crabs are dry and you have developed plenty of fond, add your tomatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Stir to incorporate and cover with water 3 inches above the crabs and vegetables. Add herbs and spices. Bring to a boil and turn down to medium-low heat. Let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a chinoise three times and chill. Hold under refrigeration until needed.

To complete:

  • 1 quart prepared crab broth (from preceding recipe)
  • 3 ounces seasonal greens, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mirlitons, small dice
  • 1/2 cup sweet red bell pepper, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cups ripe heirloom tomatoes, concasse
  • 1/2 pound Louisiana jumbo lump crabmeat, picked for shells
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, picked and left whole

Heat broth to a simmer. In the pot with the broth, add the greens and let simmer about 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and saute the mirlitons for 1 minute. Add red peppers and continue to saute for 30 more seconds. In 5 soup bowls, divide the heirloom tomato, mirliton, red bell pepper, and jumbo crab. Season broth to taste with salt and white pepper. Pour over veggies in bowls and garnish with lots of fresh herbs and olive oil.