Scalpel's Seafood Soup
There is nothing better than homemade soup. The key is making your own stock. Do not settle for packaged broth....do it right. This recipe makes 10-12 hearty servings.
2 pounds raw shrimp, with shells
6 snow crab halves (or 8 oz pasteurized crabmeat if you're lazy)
small carton of mushrooms, sliced
one can of corn
one bunch celery
one green bell pepper
one onion, if desired
one-two spoonful garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
glass of white wine
6 ounces of egg noodles
saffron, if you want to get ritzy
First, make the stock by removing the shells from the shrimp and placing them into a large pot. Cut the leafy tops off the celery and add them into the pot too. Add a handful of rosemary if you have some. If you have the crab legs, remove the meat (setting aside) and add the shells to the stock pot. Cover with plenty of water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for another hour or two, occasionally mashing and stirring the shells/legs/celery to extract all the goodness. Remove the solids with a slotted spoon, and then strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or coffee filter. After straining, the stock should be free of solid material or cloudiness. Simmer over low heat, or refrigerate until ready to cook. The stock can even be frozen for later use.
While you are simmering the stock, you can cut the vegetables. Slice the mushrooms thin and chop the celery, onion and pepper. If the shrimp are large, you may want to halve or quarter them as well. Sautee the shrimp quickly over medium high heat using a tablespoon of olive oil and a spoonful of garlic, and remove the shrimp from the pan to set aside. Add another dollop of oil to the pan, then sautee the vegetables for a couple of minutes and add them to the finished (strained) stock. Then pour a half cup of white wine into the sautee pan and scrape up all the goodies stuck to the pan. Bring the wine to a boil while whisking the pan, then pour everything into the stockpot, stirring well. Add 6 ounces of egg noodles and bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes. Then add all of the seafood. You can also add oysters, scallops, mussels, clams, grilled chicken, or whatever you have available. It's a great way to get rid of leftovers. For creamier soup, add a little heavy cream or half and half before boiling. Or to just make it thicker, add a few teaspoons cornstarch (dissolve in water first). You can serve immediately or simmer it all day. It's actually better after being refrigerated and served the next day. Add a pinch of saffron right before serving.
Once you start making your own soup, you'll never be satisfied with canned soup again.