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Food Network host Carla Hall was recently in Jamaica, where every night she ate the Caribbean staple calaloo, a leafy green vegetable that's often simmered and served as a side dish by the same name. Here, inspired by an event she's hosting at this year's New York City Wine & Food Festival, she does a modern riff on the dish, using spinach and turning it into a soup with crab meat, bacon, clam juice and coconut milk. It tastes, and smells, amazing. "When you have this," she says, "you feel like you're gonna travel. You travelin', child! It's the cheapest way—don't get a ticket, eat the food!"
Pro Tip from Carla: Store the soup in an airtight container for up to five days. Keep the bacon and crab meat separate. The crab meat will keep for no more than two days.
In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels (reserving the fat in the pan), crumble and reserve.
To the fat in the pan, add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme and chili and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, clam juice and coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove and discard the thyme and chili.
Transfer the broth to a blender in batches and add the spinach. Puree until smooth and season to taste with salt, keeping in mind that both the bacon and crab are naturally salty, and pepper. Transfer the pureed soup to a serving bowl and top with the bacon and lump crab meat.