Spicy Crab Soup with Crab Puffs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, medium dice
1/2 cup celery, medium dice
1 cup potato, small dice
2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup crab meat, lump
1/2 cup green peas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
serve with crab puffs, recipe below

  1. Heat the butter over medium heat and cook onion 4 minutes
  2. Add the celery and cook 3 minutes
  3. Add the potato, tomatoes, corn, and chicken stock.
  4. Add the seasonings and cook 25 minutes.
  5. Add the crab meat and peas, then simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Correct the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve with crab puffs.

Crab Puffs

3 ounces crab meat, claw and back
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, sharp, grated
1 tablespoon green oion, minced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup AP flour
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients and mix well.
  3. Combine the water, butter, and salt over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and add the flour, beating until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball (a couple minutes).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Thoroughly blend in crab mixture.
  6. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake 10 minutes longer.

Chef: Soup has good, rich flavor and spice (we added more Tobasco), potato is falling apart int he mouth as it should and celery is slightly firmer as it should be, the contrast of the firm corn and celery and the softness of the potato and crab.
Puffs are light, nicely cooked to the center.

Personal/Team: the soup was flavorful and had nice color to it. Not sure the peas added much to the flavor since they were just frozen peas. Fresh would be OK or just none at all, maybe add fresh parsley to the top for some green color. The crab puffs had a good crab flavor all the way through and were a nice consistency.

Lessons Learned:
1. Crab puffs--since the crab puffs are such a sticky consistency, it would probably be easier to drop instead of form them and put 3 in the soup, but the large formed ball is very soft and light and looks nice. I think if I were serving the puffs alone, the larger, formed smooth ball is nicer, the small drips are better for a soup garnish though.
2. "Spicy" Soup--if you call a soup spicy, there should be some kick, but you never want to overpower a dish beyond an average guest pallet. You can always serve with hot sauce if a customer wants to add heat.