Week 8 and 9 – Cream of Crab and Broccoli & Cheese Soup

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I made a deal with myself that, although I would still make a soup every week, I would only write it up every 2 weeks.  I know myself, and keeping on top of both every week just isn’t going to happen.

So here we are, 2 days outside of 2 weeks since my last post and I haven’t written anything yet for the past 2 soups.  I’m terrible at keeping up my end of my own bargain.

I learned a few things these past couple of weeks.  First of all, it is a terrible idea to try and remove the cork from a corkscrew while standing next to the newly opened bottle of wine, especially next to an open laptop.  Secondly, keyboard keys are quite easy to pop off to remove sticky residue underneath, but they are also quite easy to break in the process of popping off.  Lastly, it is possible to survive without a down key, as long as the little nubbin that triggers it is still working.

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Despite my computer mis-adventures, I did manage to make both soups these past two weeks.  In fact, I made the cream of crab soup twice because I missed a few key ingredients the first time, and I failed to take a picture.  But who really needs an excuse to make a soup again that has heavy cream among the ingredients? Yummy!  (Any wonder I’m having trouble getting rid of those postpartum pounds?)

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I used the cream of crab soup recipe that I found (through Pinterest) on the blog Tide & Thyme.  It was quite delicious, though I need to learn from my first two attempts before making it again.  First thing I should have done is cut the recipe in half, since only my husband and I are eating these soups.  Four cups of dairy and a pound of crab meat is a bit much for 2 people.

The first attempt at cream of crab soup actually went better than the second.  I’m going to blame the fact that I had half-and-half on hand so I subbed that for the heavy cream on round two.  Also, I used Phillips crab the first time, and the second time I went with Chicken of the Sea.  It was shell city!  I did add a dash of Old Bay though, and I think that was a good call, as well as remembering to purchase oyster crackers (though I think saltines would have been better).  I added sherry the second time as well and that was a good addition.

Side note, I would recommend getting lump crab.  I know it’s a lot more expensive, but nothing ruins your soup more than having to pick shells out of every spoonful.  Lump usually has less shells, and it’s also easier to pick any shells before you put it in the soup.

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The broccoli and cheese soup was excellent.  I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe and I was happy to find a recipe that didn’t call for Velveeta!  I did cut this recipe in half, which turned out to be a mistake since it was really delicious and I would have been happy to have more leftovers.

I also added a little bit more cheese, because why leave a small handful of cheese left in the bag when you can just dump in the whole thing?  The fresh broccoli was a great ingredient, and I love any excuse to use my immersion blender.  I had to cook it a little longer to get the stalks tender enough to blend well.

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 Cream of Crab Soup

Ingredients

2 T butter
2 T flour
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 lb lump crab meat, picked clean for shells
Salt and pepper to taste
Sherry, for drizzling
Old Bay

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the celery and shallot, and cook for a couple minutes until translucent.
  3. Add the flour and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the cream and milk.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until soup thickens.
  5. Once thickened, add the crab meat and reduce heat to low.
  6. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes until heated through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with a drizzle of sherry and dash of Old Bay if desired.

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 Broccoli Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves 10

Ingredients
1 whole onion, diced
1 stick butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
4 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 pinch nutmeg
3-4 cup grated cheese (mild or sharp cheddar, jack, etc)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken broth if needed for thinning

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions.
  2. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top.
  3. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half.
  4. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  6. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  8. Serve as is, mash with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or use an immersion blender (or standing blender in batches) for a smoother consistency.
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Shhhh the grilled cheese is burned on the side you can’t see!
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