A warm and hearty soup. It is very rich, which is why I usually make it only once a year during the holidays.
This recipe yields about 8 servings
1 1/2 qt. water and 1 6 oz. bottle clam juice or 2 qt. fish stock
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
I medium potato, peeled and diced
8 oz. crab meat (see note below)
1 small package frozen corn
1/2 pint whipping or heavy cream
3 TBS diced roasted red pepper or pimentos, diced
3 TBS corn starch dissolved in enough cold water to make a paste
3 pats of butter at room temperature
2 TBS vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste ( preferably white pepper)
dry sherry (cooking sherry will do just fine)
chopped parsley (garnish)
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan. Add carrots, onion, and celery and cook until tender, but not browned. Add enough sherry to just cover bottom of pan. Cook until alcohol evaporates. Add fish stock, or water and clam juice. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add corn, red peppers or pimentos, crab, and cream. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Slowly add corn starch a little at a time until the soup is at the consistency you want. You may need more or less corn starch, according to your taste. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the pats of butter. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
You can use canned pasteurized lump or fin crab meat, sea legs, or any combination of above, according to your budget. Just remember, the higher quality of crabmeat, the better it will taste.
Kevin Norris, a chef I used to work with, was the one who introduced me to this one. It was always a hit at our restaurant, and has been with my family and friends ever since.