This recipe is Southern "gumbo-inspired," naturally thickened by its ingredients, butternut squash and the Cajun magic addition of filé (ground sassafras leaves). No need for the roux - the French base made of flour and oil. An invention of my Northern kitchen, the recipe starts with a simple sauté of garlic, shallot and serrano peppers in butter. Easy and elegant, from start to velvety finish, prep takes about an hour. —Vivian Henoch
In a 2-quart pot, heat butter (or oil) and saute shallot, garlic and peppers,
until softened to release the flavors.
Add chicken stock and cubed squash, and cook until squash is cooked through.
Remove vegetables in stock from heat. Using a slotted spoon, place vegetables in a food processor and blend until smooth. Return blended mixture to stock and stir. Add cream, nutmeg, filé, salt and pepper.
Gently mix crabmeat into the soup or spoon generous portions of crabmeat over individual servings in a bowl.