Crab: Crab and Brie Soup "Dakota"

posted by RON AB CAN 12-19-101 6:35 PM

Crab and Brie Soup "Dakota"
by Tom Fitzmorris, for

This is the signature soup of Dakota Restaurant in Covington. So popular is it that they also feature it at their more casual place, Dakota Wine and Feed--not to mention at many of their catered affairs. I'd recommend serving it only when you can afford to put a lot of lump crabmeat in it. It's very rich.

1/2 stick butter
8 gumbo crabs (small hard-shell crabs)
1 medium onion, cut up
1 medium carrot, cut up
3 ribs celery, cut up
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup white wine
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
8 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
Pinch cayenne
1/2 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat

Heat the butter in a heavy kettle over medium heat. Crack open the crabs with a meat pounder or the side of a heavy cleaver. Add crabs to butter and sauté for five minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves, and continue to cook until the vegetables soften. Add the brandy. Bring it to a boil, then carefully touch a flame to it. After the flames die down, add the wine and bring that to a boil. After a minute or two, add two quarts of water and bring to a simmer. Keep the simmer going over medium-low heat for about a half-hour.

Strain the soup into another pot and add the cream. Bring it to a simmer.

While waiting on that, heat the butter in another saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, until the texture changes. Do not brown. Add this near-roux to the soup pot and whisk in.

Slice the Brie into small pieces and add it to the pot. Stir until the cheese melts in completely. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Right before serving, put the lump crabmeat in the bottom of the bowls, and ladle the hot soup over it.

Serves six to eight.

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