Buttery Crab Soup

I’ve gotten a lot of different and strange things as tips in my years as a hotel front desk agent. I’ve had boxes of candy, a fifth of vodka, a genuine linzer torte, and Starbucks. The strings, though, was when a group of hunters gave me a bag of five cooked and cleaned Dungeness crabs.

I ate one when I got home, but I did have that sense of “What am I supposed to do with these?” While I was at work the next day, Mom shelled them all, so I came home to a large dish of crab meat and endless possibilities. As it was chilly out, I opted for soup.

I love bisques, but I’m fundamentally lazy by nature. It was one thing to throw everything in a pot and call it soup, another altogether to have to actually work at it. I found a great paleo recipe for bisque on Jaime Hartman’s website, Gutsy by Nature, and then used most of those ingredients to make my own recipe. You can find the original right here. This is what I did:

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced to about 1/4 inch
1 med. white onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lb shredded Dungeness crab meat.
Cayenne to taste (optional)

1. In a large soup pan, saute carrots, onions, garlic and Old Bay Seasoning in butter for about 10 minutes.

2. Add coconut milk and stock, then bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft.

3. Add lemon juice, crab, and cayenne (optional) and stir until all ingredients are hot.

4. Enjoy.

Be aware, if you use cayenne, that the cayenne increases in intensity as it sits. So the spiciness of the soup on day one will not be intense as the spiciness on day two, and so forth.

Paleo Apple Pumpkin Butter

I love pumpkin. No, I really love pumpkin. I am not one of those fall-weather pumpkin spice junkies who dress in brown and beige while running off to Starbucks at the drop of the first leaf and then forgets it exists when Peppermint Mochas hit the menu. And, no, I don’t think there should be pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin is something I have no trouble eating year round, though I will admit that it tastes better in the fall.

So, imagine my joy when my friend from Maine, Barbara Coffin, posted that she was making pumpkin butter, and better yet, IT WAS PALEO!!!

The original recipe Barbara was using came from a publication called Young Living for Life and their unaltered recipe, which uses essential oils, can befound, unaltered, right here.

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m NOT into essential oils. I’m one of those people who point and laugh and make fun of those of you who are (No hard feelings. It’s just for my entertainment.). So, needless to say, I don’t exactly have oils laying around the house to use for yummy spreads. I didn’t call on Mom this time but adapted this recipe on my own. Here’s how I made it.

15 oz. (1 regular can) of pure pumpkin puree
15 oz. unsweetened applesauce (I literally just poured the applesauce into the empty pumpkin can and then poured it into the sauce pan.)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.

2.¬†Bring simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally. I lowered my heat to medium low (set the stovetop on 3 rather than 5) about 20 minutes in. It pops all over the place, so stand back when you’re not stirring.

3. When you can pull the spoon out of the mixture and nothing drips off, it’s done. Spoon into little jam jars and cool before putting the lids on. Keep refrigerated.

4. Enjoy.

I think this is my new favorite topping for my Paleo pancakes.