Blushing She-Crab Soup with a Twist

  • 560g extra-sweet mini plum tomatoes, divided
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 2 small sweet banana peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, divided
  • 150g chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp natural brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 150g chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 360ml vegetable juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small lemon, juiced (about 60ml)
  • 190ml whipping cream
  • 90g sweet cream salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp crab boil seasoning
  • 150ml high quality cream sweet sherry
  • 1/2 tsp crab base
  • 200g fresh lump blue crabmeat (steamed or boiled)
  • 50g good quality grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp red lump fish caviar, rinsed and strained
1) Preheat the oven to 220°C/ gas mark 7. Halve 18 of the tomatoes.

2) Put 60ml of olive oil in a baking dish and add the banana peppers and halve the tomatoes. Mix to coat all with oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Bake uncovered (ideally in convection oven) until they start to brown (about 15 minutes).

3) In a pan heat the remaining 60ml of olive oil and add 50g of the finely chopped red onion, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, the natural brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the crushed chilli and 1/4 tsp of the black pepper. Stir over high heat. Add the remaining whole tomatoes and continue to mix until the tomato skins start to peel (about 4 minutes).

4) Pour the entire contents of this pan into a blender and add the coriander, roasted tomato mixture and chicken stock. Blend until fairly smooth (about 15 to 20 seconds).

5) Pour back into the pan, add half the vegetable juice, bring almost to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

6) In a medium mixing bowl beat the egg to a light foam and then beat in the lemon juice. To this add the remaining vegetable juice and beat again. Slowly mix in 250ml of the hot soup. Take the soup off the heat and slowly mix this mixture into the soup.

7) Add 30ml of the whipping cream and stir over a medium heat until the soup starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.

8) In a frying pan melt the butter over a medium heat, then add the remaining 100g of finely chopped red onion and the garlic. Saute for about a minute and then add 1/2 tsp crushed chilli and 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper. Continue sauteing until the onions are soft and translucent.

9) Add the crab boil seasoning and the cream sherry. Turn the heat up until the mixture comes to a bubble then lower to medium heat and stir until it starts thickening to almost a light syrup consistency.

10) Once the soup has thickened add the crab base and make sure it is incorporated well. Then add the remaining whipping cream and stir over a medium to high heat until the soup starts to bubble again. Add 200g of crabmeat and mix well; once it comes to a bubble again remove from the heat.

11) For each serving add 120ml of the tomato soup to bowl, to this add 165ml of the crab soup, one tablespoon freshly grated parmesan. And 1/4 teaspoon of the red lump fish caviar and mix well. Float a tbsp of the crab soup in the centre.

12) Grate some more Parmesan on top. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and serve.

Cook's Note: I like to garnish with blue crab claws sauteed in butter and cream sherry and/or some caviar. When in season I like to use fresh crab roe.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore we cannot make representation as to the results.

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