Crayfish are traditionally enjoyed in Sweden in August. Often large parties are held where friends and family gather to enjoy this tasty little creature. Left over shells and/or crayfish are perfect for Crayfish soup.
What you need:
800g crayfish shells or 1kg cooked crayfish
1 small carrot
4cm cube celeriac
2 garlic cloves
1 chipotle chile or jalapeño or dried chile
3tbsp tomato paste
1bottle white wine
1can chopped tomatoes
2 stalks fresh tarragon
1tsp dill seed
2dl crème fraiche
3tbsp cornstarch stirred into 2tbsp cold water
½ dl cognac or Madeira
1tbsp salted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Note: Reserve any liquid from the crayfish to season the soup. Remove the crayfish stomachs, as they can make the soup bitter.
What you do:
Peel carrot, parsnip and celeriac, then cut them into 2cm cubes. Slice the shallots, mince the garlic and chilli. Heat a heavy, wide bottomed sauce pan and add the 50g butter. Sauté the vegetables, then add the crayfish shells and sauté until all the liquid has been released and evaporated. Add tomato paste, then the wine and water. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes, adding additional water to keep the shells covered.
After 30 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes, tarragon and dill seed. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the veg, etc. Return the strained soup to the saucepan (cleaned). Bring to a boil. Whisk in crème fraiche and thicken with the cornstarch mixture. Season with the reserved crayfish liquid and salt and pepper.
Just before serving, season with the cognac or Madeira and whisk in the unsalted butter.
Serve with Västerbotten Pie.