Provenance of Dish
Jumping at a chance many years ago to take the helm of the well known James Beard haunt the Shelbourne Inn, I knew I'd be surrounded by three of my favorite things. Situated on the coast of Washington State, the Olympic Peninsula gives up an abundance of wild mushrooms, Dungeness crab and the historic James Beard. Most people aren't familiar with cordyceps or their healing abilities but I would highly recommend doing some research. Adding them to the particularly sweet and meaty, Pacific Northwest Dungeness crab seems like it was meant to be.
½ cup salted creamery butter
1 cup sweet onion (peeled and medium diced)
5 cloves fresh garlic (peeled, crushed and rough chopped)
½ cup celery (peeled, medium diced)
½ cup fresh fennel (save fronds for crab salad garnish)
½ cup of all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups roasted red bell peppers (I prefer piquillo peppers)
2 tbsp tomato paste
5-6 cups shrimp stock (water, shellfish or fish stock is okay to use)
½ tsp old bay seasoning
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
½ tsp chipotle adobe (the contents of a can of chipotles pureed)
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb fresh dungeness crab meat (reserve 2-3 ounces of the jumbo lumps for garnish)
1 tbsp whole dry cordyceps
2-3 ozs reserved crab meat (reserved from above)
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chives (chopped fine)
1 tsp fennel fronds (reserved from above)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp chive blossoms
in a medium sauce pot, over medium-high heat, sweat, the onions, carrots, fennel, celery until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sweat for an addition two minutes.
add the flour to the onion garlic mix and create a roux, stirring vigorously to dissolve the roux.
add the stock, tomato paste, roasted peppers, crab meat (remember to reserve your garnish), old bay, salt, pepper, chipotle adobe and let simmer for 10 minutes.
add cordyceps and reduce heat slightly and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
using an immersion or high-speed blender, puree the soup until smooth. Returning the soup to another stock pot (I prefer a high-speed blender for the smoothest results).
once you have all the soup pureed in the new pot, add the heavy cream, and adjust seasonings to taste and warm until heated through.
for the crab salad garnish, delicately mix all the garnish ingredients except for the chive blossoms in a small stainless-steel mixing bowl with a spoon.
serve the hot soup in your desired vessel or bowl, garnishing each bowl with a little fresh crab salad and fresh chive blossoms.