This is my riff on the Vietnamese soup Sup Mang Cua. A perfect soup as we emerge from Winter.
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 spring onion, cleaned, white bulb and green top separate
- 1” knob of fresh ginger, about the size of the top of your thumb
- 6 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 quart of good chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 juicy lime
- ¾ lb fresh asparagus, stalks peeled if thick
- 7-8 oz lump crab meet, drained, checked for random shells and broken slightly
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt and white pepper
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Sambel Oelek, optional
- Spring onion: keeping the root end together, cut in half then in thin slices. You should have about ½ cup. Take the green part and slice that thin, separately from the white part.
- Shiitakes: remove the stem, leaving ¼ from the base, then slice in ¼ “ pieces.
- Asparagus: cut the asparagus stalks in 1 inch angled pieces. Take the tops and slice in half, if thick, and set aside.
- Peel and grate the ginger, thinly slice the garlic clove, and zest the lime, cut in half and juice in to a small cup.In a small heavy bottom stockpot heat the coconut oil. Take care to not bring the heat too high, as this type of oil has a slightly lower smoke point. Sauté the onion, ginger, garlic, ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper until soft and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, and another ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper and sauté until soft. Keep an eye on the vegetables, you don’t want the bottom to burn. When the mushrooms are soft and their liquid is slightly released, add the stock and bring to a boil.
- Toss in the lime zest, juice and asparagus stem pieces and lower the heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the crab, asparagus tops, ¼ cup green part of the onion, cilantro and chili paste (if using) and simmer for another few minutes to heat the crab and cook the asparagus tops.
- Taste for seasoning and serve.
Before you get started you want to get your vegetables prepped and organized. This soup will come together very quickly, so having everything ready and lined up on your cutting board is key!