Tortilla-Crab Soup with Cilantro-Lime Creme Fraiche


6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion (about 2 cups), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
4 large scallions, separated: white parts finely chopped, green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
4 cups bottled clam juice
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup of cilantro chopped

Creme Fraiche:
1/2 pound tomatillos - husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons creme fraiche
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Canola Oil for frying
3 6-inch yellow or white corn tortillas, julienned, about 1 cup
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through


Cook Bacon: Place cut bacon into a large stock pot over medium heat and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined sheet pan. Set aside. Drain half of the fat from the pot and discard.

Make soup: In the same stockpot, reheat the reserved bacon fat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and scallion whites to the stock pot and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour, cumin and coriander and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in clam juice and water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer soup for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, corn and scallion greens. Bring soup to simmer over medium heat. Add lime zest, juice, kosher salt and cooked bacon.

Creme Fraiche: In a blender, puree tomatillos with 1/2 cup of cilantro. Pour into a bowl and add creme fraiche, lime juice and salt.

Tortilla Strips: In a medium skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until simmering. Add tortilla strips in several batches and fry over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Serve: Reheat soup. Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Mound crabmeat in center of soup bowl and ladle soup over crab. Garnish with the creme fraiche, cilantro leaf and tortilla strips. Serve immediately.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook®


Serves 12