Winter has been slow in coming to Maine this year. We’ve had unusually warm temperatures, after the foot of wet snow the day before Thanksgiving! That snow is gone now, but we had a little dusting last night. I hope we get a bit more in time for Christmas. I’ve always lived in New England and Christmas without snow is just not right! I like a cold and white Christmas season!
Another reason I like the colder weather is the chance to eat more hot soups. Sometimes they’re the whole meal and sometimes just a starter. This past weekend, I decided to try a new one. I’d bought a leek at the grocery store in hopes of turning it into a yummy soup. I have a cookbook that specializes in Maine soups (Superb Maine Soups by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds — https://secure.downeast.com/books/maine/superb-maine-soups.html ), so I looked there first. I liked her recipe, but as my usual scientific nature took over, I experimented with it, changed it and made it my own!
My husband rated this soup a “10” followed by a “Wow”! I should clarify that my husband is not a picky eater, but because he is now eating gluten-free food, the “Wow” factor is sometimes harder to get. The crabmeat I added to this soup made it really filling and it was our main meal for the day, with a simple gluten-free roll on the side. I’m sure it would also taste great without the crabmeat – your choice!
Potato Leek Soup with Crabmeat
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 leek (slice vertically, remove roots and dark green leaves), rinse and chop finely
6 small new potatoes, diced, skin on
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of salt/pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon dried dill
6 oz. crabmeat, fresh or canned
1 can (12 oz.) whole evaporated milk
In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter on medium-high heat until melted. Add chopped celery, carrot and leek and sauté until tender. Add in diced potatoes and garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Slowly pour in vegetable stock. Add dried dill, turn the heat down to simmer and cook until potatoes are soft when stuck with a fork. Once potatoes are soft, use a potato masher to break up the large chunks of potatoes. (It does not have to be a uniform texture.) Add the crabmeat and evaporated milk and simmer until heated through. Serve with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 4 servings.