Friday, March 17, 2017

Chilpachole de Jaiba #SoupSwappers


Here we are in the March edition of Wendy's - of A Day in the Life on the Farm - new group: Soup Saturday Swappers. And our March theme is Mexican Soups hosted by Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories. Love it!

Karen writes, "Make a Mexican soup, or a soup inspired by Mexican flavors! Albondigas, chicken tortilla, posole, chile, sopa de elote, caldo tlalpeno, sopa de fideos, sopa de aguacate, sopa de flor de calabaza, sopa de bolitas de tortilla, caldo miche, sopa de frijol, sopa de tortilla...."

While we love Albondigas and Posole, I wanted to try something new to us. I found it in a traditional soup that hails from the state of Veracruz: Chilpachole de Jaiba.

Chilpachole refers to a spicy stew or soup made with seafood. I started with a recipe from the small city of Tlacotalpan which is known for its lively festivals, including the carnival of Candelaria where this delicious crab soup is served. While I adapted the traditional recipe to fit what I had in my pantry - using only ancho chiles instead of both ancho and cascabels - and what was in season - it's not quite time for zucchini here - I think the use of epazote renders this pretty close to the traditional flavors of the dish.


Forgive the raggedy appearance of my spice box. It was crushed in our move last summer. If you aren't familiar, epazote is a commonly used herb in Mexican cuisine. It has a distinctive taste; it's sharp and herbal. I would describe it as a marriage of oregano and fennel with some hints of evergreen in there. And it's a common pairing with beans as it's purported to can reduce beans' tendency to cause flatulence!

Ingredients makes 8 servings

  • 1 cooked crab, cleaned and cracked
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 C potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 2 C onions
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 C water, divided
  • 4 C broth (I used a homemade fish stock)
  • 1 C clam juice
  • 1 to 2 t dried epazote
  • fresh cilantro for serving
  • wedges of organic lemon for serving

Procedure

Place the dried chiles in a small bowl. Cover with 1 C boiling water and press down with a smaller bowl or plate to completely submerge the peppers. Soak until the water is cool to the touch. Remove the peppers, then remove the stem, seeds, and veins. Place the peppers in the bowl of a food processor and add in the soaking water. Blend until smooth.

In a large souppot or Dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil. Add the onions and cook until the onions are completely translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add in the potatoes. Pour in the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, approximately 15 minutes.

Pour in the blended chiles and clam juice. Stir in the epazote and add the crab meat. Once it returns to a simmer, pour 1 C water and add the cracked crab pieces to the pot. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until the cracked crab is warmed through.

To serve, spoon the soup into a large serving bowl - or serve from the pot! Allow diners to add their own cilantro and lemon juice to suit their tastes. We found it spicy enough from the anchos, but if you prefer it more spicy, add in a dash of hot sauce.


8 comments:

  1. WHat a nice choice for this theme! Love the crab as well as everything else you used.... hummmmm.... delicious!

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  2. My soup called for (optional) epazote but I didn't have any nor did my local grocer. I will have to check and see if I can find it for future recipes, like this amazing soup you are sharing!

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  3. I have not heard of Chilpachole de Jaiba but we do love crab so I can see this appearing on our table! I haven't used epazote but I am going to give this seasoning a try.

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  4. We adore crab! I will be putting this recipe in my queue to try. It sounds wonderful! P~

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  5. I have not heard of epazote and now I want to find it! Your soup sounds so delicious. Love, love, love all of the crab!

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  6. I am so interested in epazote- do regular store carry it- or do you order online? I love the crab in there too- looks yummy!

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  7. I actually have some epazote in my spice drawer, I think I need to drag it out again. Your soup sounds wonderful, hmmm, you always have such fun recipes.

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  8. I really like that you use picked crab and whole crab in this...what a winner!

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