Growing up, my dad used to make a delicious soup for us on special occasions. I'm not sure why it was only on special occasions, perhaps because crab tends to be expensive and maybe asparagus wasn't available often. But these days if my dad isn't golfing in the morning, he's crabbing so there is always an abundance of leftover crab meat. A few years ago I had a distinct food memory of this soup so I asked my dad to try and dig up the cookbook with this recipe. This particular cookbook was ancient - well the 1970s at least - when eating "ethnic food" was Chinese...but I think I'll try to find it and make some additional recipes.
This soup is incredibly easy, probably the most easy soup I have ever made. However, the resulting dish is so elegant you would be proud to serve it to the most foodie dinner guest. As my coworker said today as he sipped my leftovers "I would pay for that at a restaurant!"
This recipe makes 6 servings - and I recommend homemade chicken stock to make it really special.
8 ounces fresh crabmeat
1 pound fresh thin stemmed asparagus
1 tablespoon sherry
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 scallion, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch (I didn't have this so I just used Wondra flour)
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chili paste or chili sauce
1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
- Pick through the crab meat to make sure none of the hard membranes are left behind. Cut the top 2/3 of the asparagus off in 1 inch pieces.
- Boil the asparagus in water for 3 minutes, remove the asparagus and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a soup pot, bring the chicken broth, sherry, and soy sauce to a boil.
- Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high and add the scallion, stir frying for 30 seconds. Next add the crabmeat and asparagus and stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the stir fried mixture to the pot of boiling broth and add chili sauce.
- Stir in the cornstarch into a small bowl containing the 3 tablespoons water. Whisk. Add this to the soup and allow it to thicken for 1 minute while stirring slightly.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chives.
Serve nice, crusty bread alongside to sop up all the broth!