Yale's mock Crab Soup




Never go shopping while youíre hungry!


Oh, sure. You already knew that piece of advice.  But I was new to this housekeeping business so I fell victim to my hunger pangs.  Everything looked delicious.  It was just past noon and Iíd only stopped to buy a few things.  But now my cart was overflowing.  And thatís when it happened.  Sitting there in the frozen food fridgeÖ even from a distance, something about the picture on the package caught my attention.  It subliminally shouted, ďYale, look here.  Buy me, ďCrab Bisque.Ē  I had to have some right nowÖ for lunch.  I finished shopping as quick as I could.  Come on already Ė check out line.  Hurry up!  I canít wait to get home and have Crab Bisque for lunch.


Now hereís whatís really funny.  Iíve never had Crab Bisque in my entire life.  I had no idea what it would taste like.  All I knew was, itís soup and itís cold outside Ė just perfect for bowl of hot Crab Bisque!  My mouth was watering to taste it.  My cold nose longed to feel the steamy heat rising from the bowl.  My taste buds ached for that first savory sip.  What marvelous packaging!  Did I mention before that I never, ever in my life, never-ever tasted Crab Bisque?  But no matter, I just had to hurry home and heat it up.  After all itís a frozen package.  Itíll heat up in no time.


Finally, I got checked out.  Got home and started to make the soup while I unpacked and put away all the food from all those shopping bags.  Whatever did I buy?  The water was heating.  Just be sure to follow the directions.  Donít goof up the recipe.  Whatís next?  Open the special, secret spice packet so tightly encased in its plastic pouch that even a super hungry, incensed madman couldnít open it by pulling along the dotted line.  Never mind, get the scissors.


There, itís open.  Now continue following the directions.  I donít want to do anything wrong to ruin my beloved Crab Bisque.  Add the vegetables after the water has boiled.  Donít watch the pot so much; itís taking forever to boil.  Now add the vegetables.  Yes, reading ahead now, whatís next?  ďNow add your own crab.Ē


WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT?  I donít have any crab in the house.  I bought a package of soup mix.  Itís supposed to come with all its parts.  You know, just heat and serve.  What kind of monkey business is this, ďadd your own crab.Ē  Who in the world keeps crab on hand?  Damn it!  Iíve got to eat this soup for lunch Ö and I mean to do so now.


If necessity is the Mother of Invention, then hunger is the Father.  What could I possibly have on hand to substitute for crab?  Crab is a fish.  Itís bland.  Itís salty.  Itís fatty.  How about a can of tuna fish?  Letís face it.  Canned tuna was the only fish I had in the house.  So, canned tuna is what I used.  Just add some butter to make up for the fat, and seafood seasoning to complete the transformation.  Alchemy in the kitchen Ė turning lead into gold must be a cinch compared to this fishamajig.


Cooked it all up and took a sip.  Nothing.  It needed more flavor.  The sauce in their special spice packet looked like barbeque sauce, smelled like barbeque sauce, and tasted like barbeque sauce, so guess what I added Ė barbeque sauce Ė that and just a wee bit of hot sauce.


It was delicious.  But I didnít feel I could objectively evaluate it.  Was it as good as I thought, or was I just glad that it was palatable and that I didnít have to throw it away?  I found out the next day.  I invited my daughter and son-in-law for lunch and served them Crab Bisque.  I didnít explain until they finished eating and raved about it, that it was my own invention.  I dubbed it Yaleís Mock Crab Soup.


Making soup is a lot of fun.  You certainly donít have to buy the name brand, over-priced frozen cheater package Ė just get a frozen vegetable mix.  Any store brand frozen veggies will do, along with whateverís in your fridge.




Start withÖ

    18 oz frozen package of mixed veggies with as many of these veggies as possible:

    tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, peas, corn,

    green beans, onions, celery, lima beans, okra



Add 4 cups water to the mixed veggies, then add the following ingredients to a large pot.

    3/4  cup barbeque sauce

    28 oz can diced tomatoes

    2  tablespoons hot sauce (or more to suit your taste)

    4  tablespoons butter

    3  6 oz cans of tuna fish (in water, not oil)


Bring soup to a boil, stirring frequently.


Sprinkle in these spices to suit your taste:

    [ required ]  1 tbsp each of garlic powder and seafood seasoning e.g. Chesapeake Bay Seasoning

    [ optional  ]  salt, celery seed, paprika (1 tbsp), sugar (3 tbsp), onion powder (1 tbsp)


Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.




Be sure to let me know if you enjoyed the recipe and my story.



 Copyright © Yale Schwartz, 2005