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For pairing with SCHUG Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium-large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced (save some leaves)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large pinches saffron
½ tsp. salt
Zest and juice from one orange
2 cans (14 oz. each) fire roasted crushed tomatoes
6 cups seafood stock (or clam juice, or a mixture of both)
3 large or 4 small Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned and cracked, body sections cut into thirds
8 very long baguette croutons, or 16 smaller croutons
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh fennel leaves, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 large pinch salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. smoked paprika
Prepare the Rouille:
Place the mayonnaise, garlic, orange juice, salt, pepper and smoked paprika in a small mixing bowl. Using a small whisk or spoon, mix the ingredients together until they are completely blended and there are no lumps of paprika. Set aside until soup is ready or refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days. Makes a little more than one cup rouille. Extras are excellent on other meats and/or fish.
Prepare the soup:
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the fennel to the pot along with a pinch of salt. Sauté vegetables for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix together the orange zest, juice and saffron in a small bowl; set aside for a few minutes. When the onions and fennel are beginning to turn golden add the garlic. Stir and cook the vegetable mixture for another couple minutes, then add the tomatoes and the fish stock and/or clam juice.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer soup for 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Next, add the saffron-orange mixture and simmer the soup another 5 to 10 minutes. Next, add the cracked crab pieces to soup and stir gently. Correct for salt and pepper. When soup has begun to boil once again it is ready to be served.
Ladle the soup into large warmed bowls. Place three or four crab legs and a couple body sections into each bowl.Sprinkle each with fresh fennel leaves and parsley. Place one or two croutons off to the side of the soup and drizzle them with a generous amount of the Rouille. Serve immediately. Serves 6.