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Dining Tip: Spicy Tomato Crab Soup

Photo by: Andrew Purcell
A cool and colorful seafood dish with a little heat.

Posted: December 22, 2017

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the June 15, 2017, issue of Wine Spectator.

Recipe courtesy of chef Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom, Baltimore, Md.

Spicy Tomato Crab Soup

• 1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 4 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup shellfish or fish stock
• 4 1/4 cups tomato juice
• 1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed, split lengthwise, with seeds in
• 1/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 small whole dried chipotle pepper (or canned chipotle in adobo)
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
• 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat, picked for shells
• 2 cups raw corn kernels
• 1 cup pearl onions, sliced into thin rings
• 1 1/2 cups blanched English (or frozen) peas
• 1 cup celery leaves

1. Heat a grill, grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Drizzle tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then turn and repeat. Place tomatoes cut-side down on the grill and cook until nicely charred, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook for about 1 minute, until very lightly browned, with the skin starting to pull away. Remove from pan.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, combine 4 1/4 cups stock, tomato juice, tomatoes, jalapeño, potato, garlic and chipotle. Tie up the bay leaf and thyme in cheesecloth and add to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by one-third, at least 1 hour.

3. Discard cheesecloth. In a blender, blend soup in batches until smooth. Season with lemon juice and Old Bay. Strain, discarding solids.

4. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add crab, corn, onion and peas, and lightly sauté until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup stock and simmer until liquid is reduced by half and mixture is well-glazed, about 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

5. Portion the crab mixture in the center of 8 serving bowls. Add the celery leaves, then pour the soup around the crab. Serves 8.

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