This creamy and satisfying Seafood Newburg Soup is made with your favorite mix of seafood and flavored with vegetables, sherry, and Old Bay.
Imagine you create something so good that people name it after you. But then, you get into an argument, and someone takes your creation away and changes its name. As the decades pass, your creation lives on, yet you go forgotten.
What is Lobster Newburg?
That's the dramatized backstory of a dish called Lobster Newburg. In 1876, wealthy sea captain Ben Wenberg brought the idea to the famous Delmonico restaurant in New York City, where they soon added it to the menu. The decadent dish, made with lobster, cream, butter, sherry, eggs, and cayenne, was a hit. But after a falling out between the captain and the Delmonico brothers, the restaurant took it off the menu. The dish later returned due to popular demand, yet went from being known as Lobster Wenberg to Lobster Newburg, a witty anagram of the original.
Side note: The dish is spelled as both Newburg and Newberg and I honestly can't tell which is correct. Anyone have an idea?
Lobster Newburg remains somewhat popular today, and that's kind of a bummer for Ben Wenberg. Or maybe that's just the nature of recipes; we're continually adapting them over time, and we don't always know who created them. It's hard even to say if Wenberg actually came up with the recipe himself or if he picked up the idea somewhere along his sea travels. And then the restaurant's chefs likely made some tweaks to their liking. How we now know the dish probably varies even more, though the basic idea behind it prevails.
Seafood and cream, a perfect pairing
There's something about cream and seafood that works so well together. It's why Lobster Newburg and others, like clam chowder, will never cease to be classics. Of course, by clam chowder, I'm referring to New England Clam Chowder - the only one that matters.
Aside from lobster and clam, white fish, shrimp, and crab also pair nicely with cream. No matter the dish, the richness of dairy adds a luxuriousness to the seafood that elevates even the most inexpensive varieties. If lobster isn't within your budget, it almost doesn't matter. Just add some more cream and butter, and just about any seafood will eventually melt in your mouth.
What is Seafood Newburg?
That's the idea behind this Seafood Newburg Soup soup, inspired by the Lobster Newberg and adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe. Lobster Newburg wasn't a soup, but I much prefer it as one. You can use any combination of seafood here. I like cod and shrimp, which are both more affordable and practical for everyday home cooking.
The soup retains its original inspiration's flavors, with the cream, butter, and sherry being vital components. The Old Bay seasoning is a perfect complement and worth a purchase if you don't already have some on hand. Old Bay comes from Maryland, where they know a thing or two about seafood, and it includes paprika, black pepper, celery salt, cayenne, and even some cinnamon and ginger. I used to think it unnecessary, but I've since given in and don't regret keeping a jar in my pantry.
I round out the Seafood Newburg with additional vegetables by increasing the celery and potatoes and adding in mushrooms. The nice thing is that this soup doesn't take long to cook, and it makes a ton.
This dish calls for a good amount of half and half, so it's important that you use a fresh and flavorful blend of milk and cream here. I like to use Monument Farms Dairy products that come from their farm in Weybridge, Vermont. I love that their priorities are the comfort and well-being of their cows and the conservation of their land.
Although it has its challenges, the dairy industry is vital to our state, bringing 2.2 billion dollars in economic activity to Vermont each year according to the last report from vermontdairy.com.
Looking for another easy soup recipe? Try my vegetarian borscht.Print