Yes, this Red Pepper Soup with Crab Legs is a special event. It’s food you make when you want to celebrate.
Which isn’t to say that it’s full of cream, or bacon fat or even chocolate. Foods that are full of cream, bacon fat, and chocolate are certainly special foods. They’re special because you’d be hard-pressed to maintain a svelte profile when you eat foods that are full of cream, bacon fat, and chocolate everyday.
This Red Pepper Soup is special, but not because of its calorie count. It’s actually quite healthful. It’s got 1/2‑cup of yogurt in it, but other than that it’s pure veg, puréed to perfection.
What makes this Red Pepper Soup transcend from delicious and healthful to special event food is its very special crab garnish.
Has this ever happened to you? I needed crab for a special event “big birthday” soup. I went the “good market”–the market where I knew I would find “good crab” from Alaska. Snow Crab is one of those products that you have to be careful buying. There are countries whose harvesting techniques can make Snow Crab a “don’t buy” in my book.
I had envisioned this Red Pepper Soup with a whole crab leg adorning each bowl like a red garland highlighting the sweetheart neckline of a sexy silk gown. So I got in my car and I went to the “good market”. However once I got there I was a bit disappointed. Sure they had crab legs. But they were cut into 4 or 5‑inch lengths and looked at bit dour to me. They just didn’t have the elegance my couture soup required.
So I asked the guy at the counter if he had any whole legs. He said he did (whew). So I, without thinking, said, “Great, I’ll take 8 legs”.
He went in the back and he brought them out. My first shock was how big they were. Each leg had to be 2 feel long. I sorta panicked. I should have told the guy to hold it right there. I should have turned my attention to the pre-cut legs and been satisfied with the short and stocky versions I saw iced in the counter in front of me. But no. I had the idea that I wanted to serve this Red Pepper Soup with a single gorgeously tapered leg per person. If I took the long legs I could trim them down once I got home to perfectly suit the bowls I planned to serve the soup in. So I let the guy struggle with wrapping 8 beautiful whole crab legs.
I then let him weigh the legs. I nearly choked. These 8 crab legs came to $170.00. I intended the crab to be a garnish. Did I really want to spend $170.00 on a garnish? Not really. But the other problem with the “good market” is this. It’s populated with people who don’t blink at spending $170.00 on Crab Legs. In fact Geena Davis was in the Bakery at that very moment spending $85.00 for rugelach. So I swallowed hard and said, “thank you”. I then got in line and paid $170.00 for the most delicious crab garnish you can imagine. It made my soup (and the dinner) the special event I’d hoped it would be. I just hope next time I can get Geena Davis to pay. GREG