This recipe combination is a classic representation of the cultural blend that is my marriage. My family’s roots are deeply American. My ancestors emigrated here in the 17th and early 18th centuries. I was raised in Maryland where the blue crab is king and one of my favorite recipes is Maryland Crab soup.
My husband is an Irishman, who emigrated here in 1990. When he first came, I tried to find recipes for the foods that he liked from his home. One of the first things I mastered was Irish Brown Soda Bread. I have learned that NOTHING goes better with Maryland Crab soup than Irish Brown Soda Bread.
It was rather prophetic really, we have been married for twenty-two years and we still go together well. Much to my distress, we were apart for the last six weeks while he finished some work in New Jersey but he has finally rejoined me in Florida. God is in his heaven and all is right with the world.
Therefore, I thought I would share these two gems from our Irish-American merger. This is a great meal on a cool day and in fact, we generally have it every Christmas Eve.
Maryland Crab Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Cup chopped onion
1 Cup chopped celery
1 Cup chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 quart Chicken broth
2 potatoes peeled and cut into bite sized cubes
1 14.5 oz. can green beans (with liquid)
1 14.5 oz. can corn (with liquid)
1 14.5 oz. can tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1/3 Cup Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 quart water
1 lb crab meat
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer. Allow to simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.
Irish Brown Soda Bread
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 heaping teaspoon cream of tartar
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Cups whole wheat flour
2 Cups sour milk or buttermilk
Sift salt, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and All-purpose flour. Add whole wheat flour and lift handfuls to aerate. Make a well in center and add liquid mixing until dough leaves sides of bowl. Knead slightly; adding extra flour if needed. Don’t over knead. Form into a slightly flattened ball. Cut a cross in the loaf and brush top with milk. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Turn loaf upside down and return to oven for 5 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this perfect cultural pairing!