Sometimes a one-pot meal is more than enough to feed a crowd – enter hearty soups.
This dish pronounced CHIL – pa- CHOLEY comes from the state of Veracruz along the Gulf of Mexico.
It can be made with either crabmeat or shrimp. It’s sort of the coastal cousin of the ubiquitous Pozole.
You could probably use store-bought fish stock, but I made a stock with fish heads and crab. I think it’s worth taking the time to make it…just sayin’
Serve this with tostadas for crunch factor, oregano and lemons or limes.
yield: 12 servings
4 guajillo chiles
For the stock:
2 fish heads
2 whole crabs
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
2 celery sticks
For the soup:
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 carrots, finely chopped
4.5 pounds / 2 k crabmeat
2 green chiles (optional)
2 cilantro sprigs
2 epazote sprigs (optional)
1. Soak the guajillo chiles in warm water for 2 hours.
2. For the stock: in a large stock pot add whole crabs, 1 tablespoon oregano, bay leaves, garlic, celery and onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the fish heads, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add juice of 1 lime.
3. For the soup: In a separate pot (or dutch oven), heat the oil and sauté the soaked chiles and onion. When the onion softens add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Place this in a blender and purée with cumin, salt, pepper and vinegar.
4. Wipe the dutch oven clean and heat oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots and sauté until soft, add the pureed tomatoes. Strain the stock over the carrots and tomato and bring to a boil. Taste for spiciness and add 1 or 2 whole green chiles.
5. Add crabmeat, cilantro, epazote and more oregano to taste.