This recipe represents the cuisine of Vera Cruz, Mexico -- spicy and flavorful. The soup features a spicy depth of flavor from the pickled jalapenos and capers (which is why you don't want to substitute the canned capers and jalapenos with fresh) and a nice touch from the green olives.
1Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onions. Cook, stirring, for five to 10 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the garlic begins to color. Add the tomatoes and about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are somewhat cooked down and the mixture smells fragrant.
2Add the potatoes, the winter squash, chiles, olives, capers, bouquet garni and the oregano, and stir together for five minutes. Add 2 quarts water and salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes, until the potatoes and winter squash are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and/or garlic if you wish.
This soup can be made up to 1 day in advance, following Steps #1 and #2, and kept in refrigerator. Then proceed with Step #3 when ready to reheat and serve.
3Stir in the crab and continue to simmer until crab is heated through, stirring and being careful not to let the soup boil or the cooked crabmeat will become rubbery.
4Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, and serve with lime wedges on the side.