Crab and Asparagus Soup
Serves 6 to 8
1 1-/-2 pounds asparagus
4 cups fish stock or clam juice
4 tablespoons butter
1-/-4 cup all-purpose flour
4 egg yolks
1 1-/-2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 pound back fin or special crab meat, picked over
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Ground white pepper to taste
Pinch of ground mace or freshly grated nutmeg
Cut off the tough bottoms of the asparagus stalks and discard.
Cut off the tips and, in a small saucepan, cook in boiling water
to cover until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under
cold water. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine remaining asparagus and fish stock
and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until very tender,
about 20 minutes. Transfer asparagus and stock to a blender or food
processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk
in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Take care not to brown the flour. Remove pan from heat and stir
in asparagus puree. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, about
While the soup is cooking, combine the egg yolks and one cup of
the cream in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Ladle
out about one quarter of the soup and slowly whisk it into the egg
mixture. Turn the heat under the soup to very low and slowly stir
in the egg-cream mixture. Continue stirring until slightly thickened.
Add the crab meat, asparagus tips, and lemon juice. Simmer gently
for several minutes. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Season
with salt, pepper, and mace or nutmeg.
Lightly whip remaining 1-/-2 cup of cream. Serve the soup garnished
with dollops of the whipped cream.
Source: Coastal Cooking with John Shields
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