Friday, June 21, 2013

Avocado Soup and Crab Salad

I do most of the cooking on the weekends, except when we go out to eat (of course). If I'm thinking ahead, I plan my meals by Tuesday, our usual grocery shopping day. Most of the time though, I don't give it a thought until Thursday or Friday and then I have to decide whether I should just use what we have in the house, or schlep down to the grocery store to pick up special ingredients.

One recent weekend, we had steamed crabs on Saturday and ended up with a nice container of leftover meat. Rather than default to making crab cakes, I decided to make a crab salad and serve it with a soup made from the two ripe avocados we had picked up earlier in the week. The soup was thick and lusciously creamy, and the citrussy salad added the perfect touch of acid.

I used black garlic to season the soup because I had it. You can use one clove of regular garlic, but chop it and add it to the scallion while it's cooking to cut some of the strong garlic taste. Of course, if you like the flavor of raw garlic, don't let me get in your way!

Avocado Soup

4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
olive oil
2 ripe Haas avocados
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
3 cloves black garlic
couple shakes of hot sauce (I used green Tabasco)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook scallions in a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt until wilted. Add them, along with the rest of the ingredients, to the bowl of a food processor or blender and purée. If the mixture is too thick for your taste, add a bit more stock or yogurt. Season to taste, adding more lime juice, if desired. Serve chilled, topped with a handful of crab salad.

Makes 4 appetizer or 2 main dish servings.

Crab Salad

2 tablespoons orange or grapefruit juice or a combination of the two
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1 lb blue crab meat (body and claw), picked over for shell
1 tomato, seeded and finely chopped
fresh basil and mint leaves

Combine the first six ingredients in a small bowl, beating well with a fork until the dressing emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the crab and tomato in a medium bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Cut basil and mint into a chiffonade and stir in before serving.

Makes more than you'll need for the soup, so grab a fork and dig in.

Posted on