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Crab and Asparagus Soup

Crab and Asparagus Soup
Freshly cooked crabmeat is sold by weight at fish markets. The meat is either lump crabmeat, which consists of large, snowy white pieces, or flake crabmeat, which is a mixture of white and somewhat darker meat in smaller pieces. Both are good choices for this soup. Vacuum-packed pasteurized and frozen crabmeat are also available, although these are less desirable options. Avoid imitation crabmeat, or surimi, which is made from pollack or other white-fleshed fish that is shaped, cooked, flavored and colored to resemble crab.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock or prepared broth
  • 1 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch
      pieces
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs. water
  • 2 tsp. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 cup cooked crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the stock and ginger and bring to a rolling boil. Add the asparagus, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the asparagus is cooked but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir 2 Tbs. of the hot stock into the beaten egg. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the stock, stirring constantly to form even threads of cooked egg.

Add the cornstarch mixture, sherry, sesame oil and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until the soup thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

Stir in the crabmeat and cook just until it is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2001).