Skip to main content

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.


Comments

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

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an