Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Crabmeat

by feastonthecheap on March 10, 2011

Mary Anne here. So I guess it seems I’m in splurge-mode these days, while my dutiful daughter has been shopping her market’s sale shelves. That being said, I do have a pretty good excuse for this pricey dish: I was serving my Osso Bucco to very special guests (Mariel, my niece, and their respective husbands!). My intent was to create a starter course that had a certain elegance, while light enough to only tease the appetite, leaving plenty of room for the main event. This soup was both tasteful and aesthetically pleasing, almost a consomme really – and it just happened to coordinate with my finely dressed table!

To serve this as the main event, I suggest adding 1 or 2 boiled potatoes to the puree. The potatoes will thicken the soup and create a heartier version. This can be made vegetarian by simply swapping out the chicken stock for vegetable and skipping the crabmeat.

And BTW, lest you think I’ve crossed over to the dark side of gratuitous spending, I used ALL of my leftover veggies and herbs and have been feasting on homemade vegetable soup this week. We’ll post it soon so you can share in the bounty of meals that keep on giving, even if  those meals occasionally take more out of the old wallet then you’d like.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Crabmeat
Serves 10 as a First Course or 4 as a Main Course

Ingredients:
4 – 5 large red bell peppers (about 2 lbs) – $5.91
2 leeks, washed thoroughly and diced – $3.99
1 clove minced garlic – stock
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
3 Tablespoons sweet butter – stock
3 Tablespoons flour – stock
8 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned stock – $5.00 (if using canned stock.)
1 Teaspoon dried thyme – stock
¼ cup cooking sherry – stock
pinch of cayenne or to taste – stock
½ lb. lump crab meat – $8.99
2 scallions (green onions), julienned (optional)
Crème fraiche or sour cream (optional)
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $23.89
Total Per First Course Serving: $2.39
Total Per Main Course Serving: $5.97

Directions:
1. Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers about 2 inches away from the heat and char, turning frequently until blackened on all sides. Transfer the peppers to a paper bag, folding the opening closed and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

2. Peel and seed the peppers. Cut into coarse dice and set aside.

3. Using a heavy stockpot, heat the olive oil. Sauté the leeks over medium flame until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Using the same stockpot, prepare a roux by melting the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium-low flame for several minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.

5. Very slowly, add the chicken or vegetable stock, whisking constantly. When fully incorporated, allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Note: The roux will give the soup body, but it will thicken only slightly.

6. Using a food processor armed with the steel blade, puree the hot soup in batches. Return the pureed soup to the pot and adjust the seasonings.

7. Add the crabmeat, and simmer the soup just until the crab is heated through.

8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream and sprinkle with julienne of scallions.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle March 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Love the idea of adding crab meat! You have the best soups!

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feastonthecheap March 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Thanks, Michelle! I was a bit concerned as we post so many soups lately, but then the weather has definitely informed our need for the most comforting of foods. Great to hear we’re not boring! :) Thanks so much for your kind words. Best, M&M

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Steve @ HPD March 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love roasted red peppers … love soup of all kinds … and yet have never made roasted red pepper soup. Will rectify that asap!

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feastonthecheap March 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

You’ll be happy, Steve! It’s really good. I’d suggest adding those boiled potatoes to the mix if you want something heartier than my original version. Cheers!

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Lana @ Never Enough Thyme March 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

A beautifully elegant soup! Definitely my first course for our next dinner party.

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Mandy - The Complete Cook Book March 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

This is an absolute have to make recipe – I have not been this excited about a recipe in a long time! Thank you.
:-) Mandy

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feastonthecheap March 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Thanks, Mandy! So glad it piques your interest. How are things on the other side of the world? Are you getting ready for the cold season? Cheers! M & M

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Jessica @ How Sweet March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

This sounds absolutely divine! Perfect for tonight.

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feastonthecheap March 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

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Nancy March 11, 2011 at 11:11 am

We live in Arizona and can eat soup all year around. Thanks for a wonderful soup recipe. Lent has started and this I can make but using vegtable stock instead. Keep up the good work we love reading your site.

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feastonthecheap March 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Thanks so much, Nancy. And yes, Lent does put a new spin on the meatless days of the week! Always a challenge. When my kids were little, I remember frying bacon for breakfast while thinking about what to serve for dinner that was meatless! Still makes me laugh to remember! Happy fasting. Mary Anne

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Kristen March 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I love soup and this is one recipe I haven’t tried out. Can’t wait to give it a try – it looks delicious!

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Rhonda March 14, 2011 at 9:29 am

As far as I’m concerned, if it has crab meat it must be good. BTW, there can never be too many soup recipes!

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Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook March 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

Wow, this sounds amazing!

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Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls March 15, 2011 at 12:42 am

What a gorgeous soup! Great ingredients!!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

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Greta March 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Love the idea of adding crab meat in order to gourmet-up a simple soup. Well done!

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feastonthecheap March 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Thanks, Greta! I love seafood and will find any excuse to add it to a recipe -:). Happy Friday. M&M

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Rachel April 28, 2011 at 1:14 am

I think it’s funny how you include how to make it vegetarian by swapping chicken stock for vegetable– what about the CRAB MEAT?

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feastonthecheap April 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

The crabmeat is a garnish, so that’s also easy to take out

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