Crab and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Soup

By James Beard Award Winning Chef, Michael Schwartz

Ingredients

1 teaspoon melted, unsalted butter 3 scallions, finely chopped
2 cups white onion, diced small 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 stick unsalted butter 4 cups calabaza, diced small
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1 cup white wine
2, 8 ounce bottles of clam juice 1 cup heavy cream
1 pound Blue Star crab claw meat 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ cup pumpkin seeds A pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 ˚F.

Pour the melted butter over the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl, tossing to uniformly coat. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar, toss gently, and transfer to a baking sheet. Spread the seeds out into one even layer. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. Turn out the seeds onto a cutting board and roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the scallions.

In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic in the stick of butter until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the calabaza and thyme, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, cream, crab, sugar, and hot sauce. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

Ladle two cups of soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree back into the sauce pot and stir to evenly incorporate.

To serve, ladle soup into small, deep bowls and spoon a teaspoon of toasted pumpkin seeds into the center of each to garnish.

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