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Partan Bree

ingredients

serves 6
1 medium-sized boiled crab
90 g (3 oz) scant 1/2 cup long-grain rice
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups skimmed milk
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups Fish Stock
1 tbsp anchovy essence (paste)
2 tsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3 - 4 tbsp soured cream (optional)
salt and pepper
snipped chives, to garnish

method

1. Remove and reserve all the brown and white meat from the crab, then crack the claws and remove and chop that meat; reserve the claw meat.

2. Put the rice and milk into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

3.Add the reserved white and brown crab meat and seasoning and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4. Cool a little, then press through a sieve (strainer), or blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

5. Pour the soup into a clean saucepan and add the fish stock and the reserved claw meat. Bring slowly to the boil, then add the anchovy essence (paste) and lime or lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.

6. Simmer for a further 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley or thyme and then swirl soured cream (if using) through each serving. Garnish with snipped chives.

If you are unable to buy a whole crab, use about 175 g (6 oz) frozen crab meat and thaw thoroughly before use; or a 175 g (6 oz) can of crab meat which just needs thorough draining.

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