Gingered Cantaloupe Soup with Spiced Crab and Spot Prawns

This recipe, excerpted from A Good Catch by Jill Lambert, comes from Liana Robberecht, executive chef at the Calgary Petroleum Club.

2 ripe cantaloupes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped

2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil

1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated lemon grass (available at asian food markets and some major grocery stores)

2 tbsp (25 ml) grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml)minced shallots

1/2 cup (125 ml) fish stock or chicken stock

1/4 cup (50 ml) plus 1 tbsp (15 ml) sake (Japanese rice wine)

18 spot prawn tails, peeled

1lb (500g)dungeness crabmeat, cooked and picked over for cartilage

3 green onions, green part only, finely chopped

1/4 tsp (1 ml) sambal oelek or hot chili sauce

In a food processor or a blender, puree cantaloupe until smooth, 30 to 40 seconds. set aside.

Heat 1 tsp (5 ml) of the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat.

Add lemon grass, ginger and half of the shallots and saute for about 1 minute. stir in fish (or chicken) stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any solids.

Return the stock to the saucepan, add the cantaloupe puree and the 1/4 cup (50 ml) of sake and reduce for 30 minutes on low heat.

Season with salt and pepper, being careful not to add too much salt. (the crabmeat is salty.)

Cover with a lid and keep warm on low heat.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat. add the remaining olive oil and shallots and saute for 1 minute.

Stir in spot prawns and the remaining sake and saute until spot prawns are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add crabmeat and toss gently to warm through, then remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, gently combine green onions, sambal oelek (or chili sauce) and the seafood mixture.

To Serve: ladle hot cantaloupe soup into individual bowls. spoon one-sixth of the seafood mixture into the middle of each bowl, then serve and enjoy immediately.

serves 6.

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