Crab and Asparagus Soup

Sophie Grigson combines fresh crab, asparagus, coconut milk and Thai flavourings to make a truly luxurious soup
By Sophie Grigson
Crab and Asparagus Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 1 medium to large cooked crab
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, beaten flat
  • 250 g asparagus
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 2 tbsp anchovy essence
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp tarragon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped chives


1. Break the claws off the crab. Crack the shell and the claws and use a crab pick to pick the crabmeat from the shell, discarding the inedible grey feathery-looking gills known as 'dead man's fingers'. Keep the brown and the white crab meats separate.

2. Reserve the crab shells and add to the chicken stock together with 100-125ml of water. Gently simmer the stock for 30 minutes, strain and discard the crab shells.

3. Place the chicken stock and coconut milk in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus and the cayenne pepper. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the asparagus is tender.

4. Stir in the white crab meat, half the brown crab meat, the lime juice, anchovy essence, spring onion, tarragon, mint and chives.

5. Remove from direct heat and taste to check the seasoning. Add more crab meat for a stronger crab flavour, more anchovy essence for increased saltiness and lemon juice for sourness. Serve at once in small bowls.

Rate This Recipe