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Blue Crab and Summer Vegetable Soup
Serves: Serves 5
Courtesy of: Chef Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
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.
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.