Whisky is used in this recipe to great advantage – it brings out the flavour of the seafood and gives a warmth to this delightful dinner party soup. If whisky is not to your taste, brandy may be substituted.
1 oz. butter
4 spring onions , finely chopped
6 oz. fresh shrimps or prawns, shelled and deveined
8 oz. canned crabmeat, drained and shell and cartilage removed
2 teaspoons flour
1 ½ pints milk z teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried chervil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 fl. oz. single cream
1 ½ tablespoons whisky
2 teaspoons chopped fresh fennel leaves
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.
Add the shrimps or prawns and crab-meat to the pan and cook them, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and slightly thick.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the pepper, chervil and cayenne. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
Add the cream and the whisky and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until the soup is hot but not boiling.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the soup into individual warmed bowls, or a large tureen, sprinkle with the fennel and serve immediately.