Story last updated at 1/23/2014 - 11:50 am
I recently learned that January is National Soup Month. Every month honors something, but soup month has got to be one of my favorites. I love soup. I love chowders, bisques, stews, you name it. In our house we need extra spoons because we eat soup so frequently.
The great thing about soup is that it is a one pot meal. The added bonus for me is the stirring of the pot. Not stirring the pot in the causing trouble kind of way, but instead in the old fashioned blending of flavors and bringing to fruition a savory dish perfect for a cold stormy day. I also enjoy the aroma of onions sautéing in olive oil. It makes my mouth water with anticipation.
For Christmas last year, I bought my husband a small skiff so that he could go check the crab pots during the winter. When I say I bought him a skiff, I mean that he wanted it so I said go get it and Merry Christmas. I didn’t shop for the boat. I know about as much about boats and boat shopping as Grant does about shoes, specifically four-inch heels. Nonetheless it made him happy and I now get crab in January, which makes me happy.
I have made quite a few crab dishes, ranging from a southern crab boil, to grilled crab, to crab chowder, to crab pasta. I wanted something different and quick to prepare. The weather in Juneau the past few days has been cold and windy — very windy. This is perfect soup weather.
A few nights ago Grant had some crab that he recently caught and decided he could cook it on his own without my supervision. I discovered this new found culinary independence when I received a notice from one of his Facebook posts. I am happy to report that he didn’t set my stove on fire and that he cooked the crab perfectly. Thankfully, he didn’t eat all the crab and I had about two cups of crab meat leftover; just the right amount to make a small pot of soup.
Combining a few ingredients with the warm flavors of cumin and chili powder, I had a meal on the table in about 20 minutes. Cracking the crab legs took the longest, however this process can be hastened by purchasing fresh crab at the grocery store. Shrimp is also a great substitute if you don’t like, or are unable to get crab. Halibut will work, as well.
Sometimes the best dishes are those that are simple, require a little stirring and keep you warm on the inside when it is cold on the outside. This week I present a dish that meets these requirements: Spicy Crab Soup.
I am hopeful that I will have quite a few additional crab recipes this winter.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
SPICY CRAB SOUP
1 – 2 cups crab, pre-cooked
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can Ro Tel tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Avocado slices and fresh cilantro for garnish
In 6 or 8 quart stock pot saute’ onions and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until onions are softened. Add crushed tomatoes and Ro Tel tomatoes, corn and black beans. Stir well and bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and seasonings. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes until flavors are well incorporated. Add crab and cook an additional 5 minutes to ensure crab is warmed through. Serve with garnishes of avocado and fresh cilantro.