To make his roasted garlic and Dungeness crab soup, chef Charlie Branford of Newport, Oregon's Local Ocean Seafoods makes an intensely flavored stock using the shells of the crab.
Yield: makes 10 Cups
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp. dried thyme
8 sprigs parsley
5 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 lemons, halved
2 whole live Dungeness crabs
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 small bulb fennel, roughly chopped
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup brandy
4 sprigs thyme
Bring chile flakes, dried thyme, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemons, and 16 cups water to a boil in an 8-qt. saucepan. Add crabs; boil until cooked, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer crabs to an ice bath until chilled. Transfer cooking liquid, herbs, and lemons to a bowl; set aside. Clean crabs; reserve crabmeat for soup. Discard top shell, reserving brown meat and tomalley; chop crab leg shells into small pieces.
Add butter to pan; melt over medium-high heat. Cook carrots, celery, onion, and fennel until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Add brandy; cook, stirring and scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan until reduced by half, 3–4 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, brown meat, tomalley, shells, and thyme; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender and stock is slightly reduced, about 1 hour. Let stock cool slightly and discard thyme sprigs, then, working in batches or using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; let cool completely. Chill stock up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.