Food makes me happy. And cooking for friends, gardening (on a little piece of a Brooklyn deck right now), and sharing tasty ideas makes me even happier. So I figured what better way to spread some of this happiness than to start sharing my food, recipes and tips with friends -- some of whom I haven’t met yet. I hope you enjoy...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(Summer) Soup & Salad

Suggested listening while reading this post (Orgone's CRABBY Ali)

We wanted the start of our Labor Day barbecue ( to taste like Summer.  A crab & corn soup and a salad with arugula, dried blueberries, yellow cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese topped with a mint & parsley vinaigrette definitely did the trick. 

The salad and dressing comes together in minutes (although I like to make the v
inaigrette a few hours -- if not a day -- ahead, since it only tastes better with a bit of time), and the soup cooks low & slow for hours making it a great weekend dish.

Mint & Parsley Garden Vinaigrette
Think about doubling this recipe and serving it with a lamb dish the next day

- Mint (start with 1 cup, but you may want to add more depending on your taste)
- Parsley (start with 1 1/2 cups)
- 2/3 cup olive oil (I use classic oil and then add in just a splash of really good extra virgin for depth; this is a favorite that we always keep at home:,default,pd.html)
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Honey to taste (start with 1 teaspoon)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


It couldn't be too much easier than this...  put everything in a food processor or blender and puree it.  Now, I've been making this for years, and every single time I taste and adjust it a little as I go... sometimes I'm in the mood for more of the intense mint flavor, sometimes for the freshness of parsley.  So play around with it -- just make sure you have enough herbs on-hand to keep adding along the way.

Crab & Corn Soup

- 2 tablespoons oil (I used canola for this dish)
- 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
- 6 cups lobster or seafood broth (I use Lobster Better Than Bullion)
- Spice bag filled with herbs to flavor the broth (I used a combination of oregano, thyme and sage from my garden, along with
bay leaf)
- 3 ears of corn kernels, roasted with oil, Old Bay, salt & pepper
- 1 lb of cooked crab claw (I like to buy the fresh canned claw meat from Trader Joe's)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
-  If you can find it... 1/4 cup of "soup celery", which is very leafy with skinny little stalks
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Saute your onions in oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, and then begin slowly adding broth over the next hour (about 1/4 cup at a time) and let this cook on a low boil; this will allow for the onions to soften and the flavors to combine nicely; and sample the soup along the way as you add broth... if it's too salty (given it will reduce as it boils), add filtered water instead of broth

2) Add your corn kernels and spice bag, and lower the heat, allowing the soup to simmer for a at least another hour

3) At this point, you can either let the soup cool and sit refrigerated overnight (as I did), or move directly onto adding the cooked crabLet the soup simmer on a medium-low heat.  If you have the time, let this cook slowly for an hour, since the more time your ingredients have to combine, the deeper your flavor will be
4) Now you can add in your chopped herbs and remove the spice bag; let the soup cook on low for one more hour, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Was waiting for this one! Sounds awesome. Like the spice bag and as a Marylander know Old Bay is the only seafood seasoning one should use. Ever.