I realized this week that I have been writing this little column for five years now. It could be starting kindergarten soon! I wanted to share my very first contribution with you again for many reasons but mostly because this soup is so amazing. Just like the amazing Jane King who taught me this recipe and quite a few other things. They don’t teach those things in kindergarten. Cheers!
From January 2015:
Hello, my name is Sharon and I’m a foodaholic.
In addition to being addicted to food television, culinary magazines, cookbooks old and new and Pinterest (don’t get me started on Pinterest), I also love to torture my friends to the point of exhaustion on their part in order to acquire a new recipe. It’s a problem.
People will tell you that there are no original recipes. There is merit in that theory, but I am not above begging for a recipe if the dish sparks my interest. You know you need to make a phone call if you licked the bowl and woke up thinking about it the next day. Fact.
Such was the case with my friend Jane King’s crab soup. There happened to be a soup contest at First Presbyterian Church several years ago. It just so happened that I entered said contest. It also happens to be that I am slightly competitive when it comes to cooking. I told you it was a problem. I decided to attempt a wonderful green chile soup with pork that had great potential, and I was long suffering in the process. Hours of thought, chopping and tasting went into my concoction, and I was so proud of the end result that I could barely stand myself. Alas, Jane won and deservedly so. I pouted a little bit and called her soon after to get all the details.
Jane King is a lovely, gracious woman who knows more about cooking and entertaining than I could ever hope to know. Imagine my surprise when she revealed her secret to success. It started something like this, “Well Sharon, I really just opened up some cans.” No way. I digress.
The following recipe is very close to what she told me, and the beautiful part about it is that you can get as creative as you like with the condensed soups. I personally love the cream of asparagus because it adds a nice texture, and the split pea while optional adds some depth of flavor. I also have used the same ingredients to make a great fondue. All you need to do is omit most of the half and half and add grated Gruyere cheese to the fondue pot just prior to serving with crusty bread chunks. The fondue would make a great addition to typical party fare. You’ll know it’s a hit when the bowl is empty or someone like me calls you up demanding the recipe. Here’s my my take on the original. Cheers!
3 cans condensed cream soup: cream of asparagus, cream of mushroom, cream of celery or cream of shrimp
1/2 can split pea soup (optional)
1 can condensed tomato soup
2 large cans fancy lump crabmeat — drained and picked
1 pint half and half
2 T. butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 T. cooking sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute’ onions in butter until translucent, add sherry and crabmeat, then slowly add soups and combine over low heat until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add half and half until it looks like soup (or fondue) then season to taste with salt and pepper. Oh yeah. A little cayenne pepper never hurt anyone. Much.
Sharon Little is a community contributor for the Kingsport Times News.