Forget about fiddly and time-consuming crab preparation. Just buy a ready-prepared fresh crab, presented in the body shell, and make this quick and easy soup that captures all the flavours of the sea. Serve it as a starter for 4, or as a light lunch dish for 2, with toasted ciabatta or Granary bread for dunking.
For a smooth texture, at the end of step 3, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Stir in an extra 200 ml (7 fl oz ) stock or milk, or a mixture of the two, and heat through. * For a crab and celeriac chowder, replace the onion with 300 g (10½ oz) celeriac, finely diced, and 140 g (5 oz) sliced leek. * To make an easy storecupboard soup, use a can of white crab meat, about 170 g, well drained, and a can of dressed crab, about 43 g, instead of the fresh crab.
Crab belongs to the same family as the lobster and shrimp, but unlike them, the crab's very small tail is tucked underneath its body. It is a good source of copper, essential in the formation of collagen, a fundamental protein in bones, skin and connective tissue. * Tomatoes supply appreciable amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which have important antioxidant properties. The red colour of tomatoes comes from lycopene, another powerful antioxidant, which research indicates may help to reduce the risk of cancer if included in the diet regularly. * Paprika comes from a variety of small sweet red pepper. Although only used in small amounts as a spice, it has a particularly high carotene content, and this will add to the antioxidant properties of a dish.
B1, B6, niacin * A, C, copper, potassium * B2, B12, E, folate, calcium, iron, zinc