Tomato and crab soup

    45 min

    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.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 15 g (½ oz) butter
    • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 400 g (14 oz) potatoes, peeled and finely diced
    • 340 g (12 oz) ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
    • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
    • 600 ml (1 pint) fish stock, preferably home-made
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) dry white wine
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 200 g (7 oz) fresh crab meat (brown and white)
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • salt and pepper
    • To garnish
    • 3 tbsp soured cream
    • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and cut into thin strips
    • paprika

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and potatoes and cook over a moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened.
    2. Stir in the tomatoes and chopped anchovies, then add the stock, wine and tomato purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. Add half of the white crab meat and all the brown meat to the pan and stir in the milk. Cover again and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
    4. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and swirl the soured cream over the top. Garnish with the remaining white crab meat, strips of anchovy and a sprinkling of paprika. Serve hot.

    Some more ideas

    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.

    Plus points

    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.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, niacin * A, C, copper, potassium * B2, B12, E, folate, calcium, iron, zinc

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