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Velvet Corn Soup with Crab and Ham
Photo © John Kernick

Velvet Corn Soup with Crab and Ham


"Every Chinese-American restaurant used to serve this soup," Andrea Reusing says. "It's a very 1970s thing to me." While many versions are thickened with cornstarch, she adds an egg to enhance its custardy texture.

  1. 6 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over
  2. Chile oil, for drizzling
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 4 large shallots, minced
  6. Salt
  7. 10 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cobs
  8. 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  9. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  10. 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  11. 6 paper-thin slices of country ham or prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  12. 2 large eggs
  13. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter in the vegetable oil. Add the shallots, season with salt, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the shallots are softened, 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook for 4 minutes, stirring. Add the ginger and wine and cook over moderately high heat until the wine is almost evaporated, 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Transfer the soup to a food processor and process to a slightly chunky puree; return to the pot. Add the ham, season with salt and bring to a bare simmer over low heat.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock. Gradually add the eggs to the soup, stirring constantly, until the soup is very thick, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the scallions and crab. Drizzle lightly with chile oil and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Creamy, pear-scented Chardonnay: 2007 Landmark Overlook.

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