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Dinner Tonight! | Quick Fix

Get Corny (and Crabby)

January 30, 2002|MAYI BRADY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's easy to make a thick, creamy soup by adding lots of cream or starting with a roux. But it's just as easy to give a soup more body by pureeing part of it and returning it to the saucepan.

In this soup, everything but the crab simmers for a short time, then half the soup heads for the blender. Once back in the pan, the soup and added crab are reheated for a few minutes.

With this technique, you'll satisfy anyone who can't have dairy products. And, you'll have a thicker, richer soup without the added fat or calories of cream.

Round out the soup with a watercress salad.

Plate, bowl and napkin from Pier 1 Imports

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Corn and Crab Soup

Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 (11-ounce) cans corn, drained

2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 (6-ounce) cans crab meat, drained

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened a bit, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and corn and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Carefully ladle about half of the soup into a blender, filling it no more than halfway, and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Return the puree to the saucepan and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add the crab and cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with the chives.

4 servings. Each serving: 326 calories; 2,017 mg sodium; 55 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 45 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 4.95 grams fiber.

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MENU

Corn and Crab Soup

Watercress and Pear Salad

COUNTDOWN

30 minutes before: Chop onion and bell pepper.

25 minutes before: Begin making soup.

15 minutes before: Make vinaigrette while soup simmers.

5 minutes before: Finish soup, toss salad.

STAPLES

Butter

Garlic

Dijon mustard

Onion

Olive oil

Canola oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sherry vinegar

SHOPPING LIST

Chives

2 cans corn

2 cans crab meat

1 pear

Red bell pepper

2 cans vegetable broth

1 bunch watercress

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Watercress and

Pear Salad

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt, pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 large bunch watercress, tough stems removed

1 pear, thinly sliced

Combine the Sherry and balsamic vinegars, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive and canola oils. Toss the watercress and pear in a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette.

4 servings. Each serving: 211 calories; 212 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 2.09 grams fiber.

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