Sunday, February 10, 2008
Asparagus and Crab Soup
You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip. ~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"
If you do trip and fall flat on your face in front of your love, this Asparagus and Crab Soup will surely perk you up,no pun intended! Chris, from Mele Cotte, hostess of Kitchen of Love 2008 isn't asking for Valentine's desserts, but for savory dishes made with foods considered to be aphrodisiacs, foods that arouse or enhance sexual desire. The word aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Many foods such as leeks, bananas and carrots, are touted as aphrodisiacs due to their phallic shape, whereas eggs, oysters and cavier are suggestive of the female reproductive system. None of these foods have any scientific validity, but if they spice up your life, go for it!
Asparagus, another phallic shaped food, has always been prized for its medicinal properties and is considered one of the world's healthiest foods. Simple to prepare and colorful, asparagus is now available year round, but it always reminds me of the coming of Spring. Although my favorite way to prepare asparagus is to toss it gently with salt, freshly ground pepper and olive oil, then grill it 2-3 minutes a side, I love the Asparagus and Crab Soup that I made for Chris' Kitchen of Love 2008. Reminiscent of Chinese egg drop soup where beaten eggs are stirred into the mixture, the addition of cooked crabmeat and asparagus adds lovely flavor and color to this quick and easy soup.
Asparagus and Crab Soup
4 cups (32 fl oz) chicken stock
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 lb (250 g) asparagus spears, washed, trimmed of tough ends and cut on the diagonal into 1 -1/2 inch pieces.
1 egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup (8 oz) cooked crabmeat, picked over for shells
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine chicken stock and ginger and bring to a rolling boil. Add asparagus, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir 2 tablespoons of the hot stock into the beaten egg. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot stock, stirring constantly to form even threads of cooked egg.
Add cornstarch mixture, sherry, sesame oil and soy sauce. Cook, stirring until the soup thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in the crabmeat and cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Recipe from "Williams-Sonoma Soup"
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.