Friday, September 7, 2012

Asian Curried Coconut Tomato Soup with Crab

This gorgeous Asian-inspired saffron coloured Curried Coconut Tomato Soup is a spectacular way to feature the dishes main attraction: Dungeness Crab. Delicious served hot or cold, this fragrant and spicy curried soup gets a kick from its aromatic Asian cousins — Thai red curry paste, Sambal Oelek, fresh ginger, garlic and coconut milk — which combined with canned Roma tomatoes, becomes a rich and complex elixir, producing a fusion of exotic flavours and brilliant colours that positively shine. Rich and satisfying, 
Curried Coconut Tomato Soup with Crab can be prepared ahead of time, and would be delicious served as part of any Asian-inspired feast, such as Pad Thai noodles or vegetable spring rolls. A spectacular dish that would look dazzling served in hollowed-out coconut shells, is sure to impress any guests.

Asian Curried Coconut Tomato Soup with Crab
Serves 8 to 10 

1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp of sambal oelek chili paste
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups minced yellow onion 
3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Thai Red curry paste
1 1/2 cups canned Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
16 oz bottled clam juice
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 lb cooked Dungeness crabmeat
Jalapeno or Thai red chilis for garnish

Combine the garlic, ginger, sambal oelek chili paste and two tablespoons of water in a blender and purée.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. When hot, add the cinnamon and bay leaves and sauté for 5 seconds. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ginger mixture and sauté until aromatic and the water has evaporated. 

Add the curry powder, turmeric and red curry paste plus one to two additional tablespoons of water and stir. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes longer until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, remaining water, coconut milk, chicken stock, clam juice and salt. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

When cool, purée the mixture in batches until very smooth then chill. The soup can be prepared the day before and refrigerated until ready to serve either cold or hot. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with a dollop of crabmeat and garnish with some chopped cilantro and a slice of jalapeno or Thai red chili.