2. Combine 1 cup tomato-clam juice, the coarsely chopped cucumber and bell pepper, the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and hot sauce in a blender. Blend until the vegetables are pureed. Stir in the remaining 2 cups tomato-clam juice. Add 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Quarter the shrimp crosswise. Combine the tomato mixture, shrimp, crabmeat, and the remaining cucumber and bell pepper in a glass or metal bowl. Set the bowl into a bowl of ice and water for 10 minutes to chill the soup.
4. To serve, divide the chilled soup among 4 large chilled seafood cocktail glasses or soup plates and top with the croutons.
Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Trim the crusts from 2 slices firm white bread (about 3 ounces) and cut the bread into 3/4-inch squares. Combine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 pressed garlic cloves (about 2 teaspoons), 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Add the bread and toss until the pieces are evenly coated. Spread out the croutons on a large, ungreased rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread squares are crisp and beginning to brown. Let cool.
Tomato clam juice can be found in the canned juice section of any major supermarket. It’s a drink made of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate flavored with spices and clam broth. It is also referred to colloquially as “clamato juice.” Clamato was produced in its current form beginning in 1966 by the Duffy-Mott company in Hamlin, New York, by two employees who wanted to create a Manhattan clam chowder style cocktail by combining tomato juice and clam broth with spices.
The great thing about this soup, is that you could substitute any kind of seafood or any other protein, such as chicken, pork or beef for that matter, because the base is super flavorful!
Chill glasses or soup plates in fridge or even the freezer prior to serving, to keep the soup cool during dinner.
This is portable soup for a picnic – pack it up in a thermos.
Homemade croutons are very easy to make. (And a good way to use bread that’s going stale!) You can also purchase store bought croutons to save time. I usually suggest some sort of starch to go with every soup you make, to make it a little more substantial.
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