I love a good food competition, especially when I can use high-quality products from my local farmers market. The Farmers Market of the Ozarks recently held it’s 4th Annual Soup-Off Competition to help raise funds for non-profit organization, Harvest on Wheels, and I decided that a seafood soup would be the perfect entry.
I’m fortunate enough to have the best hook-ups in 417 Land for foodie finds, so I called on Chris Perkins of Express Food and FMO vendor (and who I like to call MY Seafood Guy) for some stellar lump crab meat to bring this recipe to the top- and he delivered! I learned that Chris orders in lump crab for many of his restaurants deliveries each week (I think I will now be one of those weekly buyers, bc this crab was out of this world.)
I took out a couple of bags of frozen broccoli that I put up this year, purchased from Teng Yang of Nature Valley Farm at FMO. (I always buy in bulk when products are in season, that way I can always enjoy fresh, local foods all year.)
Also for this recipe I used Ozark Mountain Creamery milk, which is produced by the Fry family in my hometown of Mtn. Grove. You can find their glass-bottled milk in many grocery store chains in the Ozarks. It. Is. SO. Good.
My family loves this soup and guess what…so did all the customers at FMO last weekend, as I took home the Soup-Off Winning Title. The competition also helped raise Harvest on Wheels over $350- so I’d call this a win-win for everyone!
She Crab Soup
Make your soup base:
5 celery stalks, washed and roughly chopped
5 gloves garlic, whole
1 cup white onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1.4 tsp. sugar
6 T. butter
1.5 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups milk
Add to the soup base:
2 quarts half and half
1 stick of butter
1 lb. of lump crabmeat (if using canned crab meat 4-5 (6 oz) cans)
1 lb. of steamed broccoli florets
1 ½ tsps. Of Old Bay seasoning
3T. dry mustard powder
In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, add the 3 T. butter, onion, celery and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and sugar. Add 1.5 cups of stock and simmer until vegetables are soft- about 15 minutes.
Puree your vegetables with the stock. This is easiest if you have an immersion blender, but you can also use your blender. I like to leave the puree with a little chunks of vegetables, but the majority of the base should be a smooth texture.
In the same pot you cooked the vegetables in, on medium heat, add three tablespoons of butter and add an equal amount of flour and cook over medium low heat until the mixture is blended, about 1 minute- this is a roux.
Add 2 cups of milk to the roux, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture back to a oil and heat until the sauce is smooth and thick.
Add to the roux mixture the half and half, butter, and seasonings. Bring the ingredients to a slow simmer for 20 minutes. Be sure and stir the mixture often. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets. Chop the steamed florets, coarsely.
After the soup mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, place crabmeat and broccoli in pot and simmer until the mixture is thick enough for your own taste, typically 10 minutes and remove from heat. Check the taste and add salt as needed.
Garnish with white cheese and oyster crackers.