Cooking Under Fire – Creamy Crab and Brandy Soup

5 Aug

This so very nearly wasn´t a recipe. I treated us to two Dressed Crabs which we had planned to eat with a crispy salad and some beautiful new potatoes dripping with butter.

In my flustered and tired state I left them in the fridge in the house we are renovating and we got home to face an entirely different supper. I rescued the crabs the next day, but as they weren´t as super fresh as on the day they had been dressed, I decided to turn them into a luxurious soup. This wasn´t really Cooking Under Fire either as I used my parents´ kitchen in their holiday home, but I did still have to rummage around to find the Brandy…so there was some small element of hardship involved in the process…

Serves 2 as a hearty main course or 4-6 as a starter

  • 2 dressed crabs (white and dark meat)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • About 150ml of single cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chili
  • Half an onion
  • A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • Water

Remove the meat from the crab shells and reserve. Break up the shells a little with a rolling pin and put into a saucepan then cover with about 1 litre of water. Add the onion, ginger, bay leaf and dried chili. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins, drain and reserve the stock.

Add the crab meat and potato to the stock and simmer (uncovered) until the potatoes are tender and the stock has reduced a little. Stir in the cream and brandy, taste and season with salt if necessary and pepper (I used white pepper). Mash the mixture gently so that the soup thickens but there are still chunks of crab meat and potatoes. If you prefer a smoother, silky texture, blitz in the blender or with an immersion blender stick. Warm through gently before serving and remind yourself that sometimes being forgetful can be a good thing.


54 Responses to “Cooking Under Fire – Creamy Crab and Brandy Soup”

  1. Karista August 5, 2012 at 22:29 #

    Love! This looks so fantastic and the splash of brandy is perfect. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2012 at 23:20 #

      Oh yes, the brandy gave it a warm tickle which was lovely!

  2. gardenfreshtomatoes August 5, 2012 at 22:35 #

    Oh, Yum! Every restaurant here would use sherry instead of brandy, and it usually turns out too sweet…I like yours MUCH better!

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2012 at 23:21 #

      Maybe dry sherry would be good, but we loved the brandy (especially as it was nabbed out of my parents´ drinks cabinet!)

  3. Mad Dog August 5, 2012 at 23:07 #

    That sounds great! As lovely as dressed crab is, I think this is better 😉

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2012 at 23:22 #

      I might still have to treat us again to dressed crab though – I think it always looks so pretty!

  4. kalamitykelli August 5, 2012 at 23:38 #

    This looks delicious! It sounds so warm and inviting…..

  5. Piglet in Portugal August 5, 2012 at 23:53 #

    I’m glad to see you are a resourceful cook!

  6. ceciliag August 6, 2012 at 01:18 #

    Oh honey that sounds like a GREAT hardship! c

  7. chefconnie August 6, 2012 at 01:54 #

    Excuse me while I drool on your blog……Creamy crab soup…heavenly.

  8. Charles August 6, 2012 at 04:43 #

    Absolutely LOVE crab – it always bums me out that whenever I get a dish with “crab” in the title it always seems to be made from that vile, foul surimi filth. One day, when I’m king of the world, I’ll ban that stuff!

    Great looking soup – bet the flavours were rich and delectable. You can’t go wrong with crab!

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:16 #

      Oh I agree, that stuff is horrible…even my dogs turn their noses up at it!

  9. Eha August 6, 2012 at 05:11 #

    What a nifty way to make quick ‘fish stock’: love your addition of ginger some of us may not have thought of: do wish I could have reached into the screen and enjoyed the richness of this 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:17 #

      Thanks, I used what I had to hand in my mum´s kitchen and the warmth of the ginger with the strong crab flavour worked really well 🙂

  10. Peri's Spice Ladle August 6, 2012 at 06:17 #

    This sounds and looks like (bet it tastes like too) comfort food at its best:)

  11. TBM August 6, 2012 at 08:39 #

    Perfect timing for this–I’ve been craving a hearty soup. Looks lovely.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:18 #

      It was surprisingly filling considering how few ingredients it contained!

  12. chaiselongue1 August 6, 2012 at 09:05 #

    You definitely made the most of the situation here! It sounds delicious and looks great in that bowl on the chequered cloth too….and you’ve got a good excuse to have dressed crab again – perfect in every way!

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:18 #

      Thanks Teleri – the cloth came from home and the crackled bowls are my mum´s!

  13. Florence August 6, 2012 at 10:59 #

    Hi T, I’m amazed you have found the time to cook. Looks delicious. Pleased to hear you are both ok.
    Regards Florence x

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:19 #

      You know me…never a girl who “forgets” to eat!

  14. thecompletecookbook August 6, 2012 at 11:25 #

    Scrumity, scrumity, scrumity!!!
    🙂 Mandy

  15. Tandy August 6, 2012 at 13:24 #

    I also want that hardship LOL 🙂

  16. ChgoJohn August 6, 2012 at 16:19 #

    You poor Dears. Forced to rummage through another’s drinks cabinet — parent’s no less. And then, to add insult to injury, you were forced to eat this soup! If only I lived near you. I know that once I smelled this concoction, I would have raced over, grabbed the pot, and spared you from having to partake of it. No need to trouble yourself wondering about how it would be handled once I took it way nor expressing your gratitude. Just know that I would relish being able to help you.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2012 at 18:23 #

      We are living in tough conditions John…the pain and the suffering 😉 Luckily my parents are people who enjoy a drink so we really should start whipping up some cocktails soon to help them deplete stocks!

  17. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 6, 2012 at 17:12 #

    Hahaha.. Just read John’s comment above and had to laugh! What a fantastic soup indeed.. and misfortune brought you such a delicacy!! Oh, Chica, only you would know how to turn forgetful into fabulous:D xx

  18. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) August 6, 2012 at 19:47 #

    Crabs, potatoes, brandy, and cream…, um, good!

  19. Bluejellybeans August 7, 2012 at 00:39 #

    Una pinta buenísima Tanya!

  20. Karen August 7, 2012 at 02:42 #

    This dish might not be what you planned for your fresh crabs but the soup sounds quite delicious.

  21. narf77 August 7, 2012 at 15:14 #

    Good idea to uber heat those babies or you might have had to take a forced hiatus due to crabs revenge! When life hands you suspect crabs…forget lemonade…make soup! Done and dusted girl, you done good! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2012 at 15:34 #

      Suspect crabs are never a good thing 😉

      • narf77 August 7, 2012 at 23:33 #

        Especially when they are wearing little hard hats and scuttering around the sideboards! 😉

  22. Promenade Claire August 7, 2012 at 18:52 #

    Sounds like you are on fine form, I mean fancy having to rumage around for the brandy, oh the hardship !! Looks delicious 🙂

  23. bitsandbreadcrumbs August 7, 2012 at 22:39 #

    this is one of my favorite types of soups…I love crab with brandy or sherry! I’m amazed that you have the time to cook at all with what you have going on. I bow to your energy and love this soup!

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2012 at 23:24 #

      Well, I couldn´t bear to chuck out 2 dressed crabs (what a meanie I am) so I had to make sure we ate them!

  24. sybaritica August 8, 2012 at 10:05 #

    Very nice. I love stocks made with crab, lobster, shrimp shells etc 🙂

  25. spree August 8, 2012 at 20:41 #

    Oh the horrors! You poor dear! Imagine, crab soup with brandy! No one should have to endure this sort of punishment, and yet I must commend you on how well you seem to be holding up under such adversity! Indeed, you’re becoming a bit of a role model!

    • Chica Andaluza August 8, 2012 at 21:47 #

      Women, so they say, are like tea bags…they show their strength when you put them in hot water 😉

  26. Pendle Stitches August 9, 2012 at 14:50 #

    Boozy soup. How splendid!

    • Chica Andaluza August 10, 2012 at 15:52 #

      Great isn´t it?! Alchohol and food all in one dish 🙂

      • Pendle Stitches August 10, 2012 at 17:16 #


  27. Pearl blanco March 29, 2013 at 22:52 #

    Laissez les Bon temps rouler! Letting the good times roll in Cajun country Louisiana! Jus did a search about how to thicken my too thin fresh Louisiana blue crab and shrimp soup, and we came across your sight. Adding brandy to the pot now …. Not that the brandy will thicken it ….we just think thats a great idea. Wish you could smell our kitchen! Au Revoir and merci beaucoup!

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