As promised, here’s the recipe for the crab bisque I served at our lab ski retreat. This is my favorite soup recipe on my blog so far, although it’s not really a fair comparison because it’s the only one that contains heavy cream and butter – it’s nice to splurge every once and awhile!
We always get our fresh lump crabmeat from Costco (it’s in the produce section by the guacamole) because it’s high quality and not too pricey at $13 a pound. I had a feeling we wouldn’t be able to find crabmeat at the small grocery store by our ski house, so my PI, Carla, was nice enough to go to Costco, stash the lump crabmeat in a cooler, and bring it with her! It was a good thing too, because the seafood section at the store was pretty sad, and I couldn’t even find pancetta for the stuffed chicken recipe below and ended up having to use bacon instead!
The crab is definitely the star of this dish, but I did build additional layers of flavor by also using leeks, garlic, roasted red peppers, and tomato paste (which I finally found in a tube – yay)! I also thickened the bisque with a roux and added some red wine vinegar for a little extra tang. I used an immersion blender so there were still some pieces of crabmeat, which I actually enjoyed, but you can definitely put it in the food processor if you want a smoother consistency. It’s so rainy and miserable in Boston right now that just looking at the picture is making me crave a nice big bowl. Although, I actually have a feeling I’m going to crave a bowl every time I look at this post, even in the middle of summer!
Crab and Red Pepper Bisque
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté leeks for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium high heat in a large stockpot. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one minute or until mixture starts to brown. Add chicken stock, red peppers, tomato paste, 14 ounces crabmeat, basil, and sautéed leeks to the stockpot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth.
Add heavy cream, red wine vinegar, and salt to the stockpot and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Scoop into serving bowls and garnish with remaining 2 ounces crabmeat. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 687 calories, 55.3g fat, 2.5g fiber, 14.8g protein per serving
Cost: $5.30 per serving