Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Herb Soup with Crab

"It's the herbs, Herb"! 
If you remember that quote, then my virtual hat is off to you because no one I know remembers it. Apparently, neither does Google because I just did a search for it and I stumped Google!  ha!

There was a commercial, for some canned or jarred spaghetti sauce, when I was a kid. In it, the momma serves up a plate to her poppa and he says, "Why does this sauce taste so good"??!!  She says, "It's the herbs, Herb"!  At least, that's the way I remember it. I could be totally wrong on this one, but Google can't prove it so I guess you'll have to believe me. 

The recipe I'm going to post doesn't have anything to do with pasta or sauce (if you are looking for a great Marinara, look at my "Marinara Me" post). It is a recipe I found inside Food Network Magazine. I expected it to taste good.....but it was "surprisingly delicious" (yet another catch-phrase I remember from my youth, but can't find on Google). 

Why does this soup taste so good?  IT'S THE HERBS.

This soup is very filling and satisfying... Enjoy.

Herb Soup with Crab

8 oz lump crabmeat, picked over
1 C chopped mixed herbs (such as parsley, chervil, and/or basil)
1 lemon (the zest and the juice)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 TBL good olive oil
6 slices white bread, cubed
4 TBL unsalted butter
1 bunch leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
3/4 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium bulb fennel, cored and chopped
1/2 C dry white wine
1/2 C heavy cream

1. Toss the crab, 2 TBL herbs, half of the lemon zest and juice, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl; cover and refrigerate. Whisk the remaining lemon zest and juice with the olive oil in a separate bowl. Toss 1 TBL of the lemon oil with the bread cubes; season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 TBL butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bread cubes until golden, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
NOTE: Instead of sliced bread, I used a very soft, fresh baguette.

The crab, lemon and herb mixture.

Say it with me, "mmmm. Croutons".

2. Heat the remaining 2 TBL butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until wilted; about 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes and fennel and cook, about 7 minutes.
Stir in the wine, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; cook 2 more minutes.  Add 5 C water and 1/2 C of the herbs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
NOTE: I used small white potatoes because they are just as yummy and not as expensive as yukons. I did not peel them either!

The soup, before blending. You could eat it just like this and it would be great!

3. Puree the soup in a blender in batches. Return to the pot, add the cream and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining herbs, season with salt and pepper.  Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with the crab, croutons and drizzle with remaining lemon oil.
NOTE: I use my Immersion Blender for this instead of the blender - SO EASY!
AND....I didn't use heavy cream. Instead I like to use 1/2 & 1/2. I like a bit thinner consistency for creamed soups, not to mention easing up on the fat grams!

I love my immersion blender.

Blended, and cream added.


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