Crab and Red Pepper Bisque

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
Printable Recipe

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

35 Responses to Crab and Red Pepper Bisque

  1. This definitely seems like one of those dishes that is worth the calories. Especially when you’re burning so many from skiing! I’m sure your labmates loved it..I sure would have.

  2. This soup sounds so delicious! I’ve actually been eating crab lately so it looks particularly good. I can’t believe your PI brought the crab in a cooler!!! How funny. I found some tomato paste in a tube in December at a a small Italian foods store – I was ecstatic!

  3. OHHHH MY GOODNESS! this looks soooo yummy! i am always looking for a really easy and delish bisque recipe. i am totally going to make this next weekend! mmmmm…thanks for posting! i found your blog thru sarah tea’s culinary cracks!

  4. Hmmm, I’d love a bowl right now! A big vat of this would have been perfect for this rainy and dreary weekend. I love crabmeat – it just has such a light and fresh taste. But whether the sun is shining or not, this makes a wonderful meal!

  5. ‘bisque’ is a catchword for me–it means rich and velvety and delicious. this batch is no exception–you did an excellent job here, kerstin!

  6. Ok…can I tell you something….don’t tell anyone :) Seeing this picture made me crave meat for the first time since going full veg! I used to love cream of crab soup. What a fabulous recipe! Everyone must have loved it

  7. Looks gorgeous!
    I hope you had fun at the race yesterday. The weather was miserable but everyone’s spirits seemed high. Sorry I didn’t get closer to say hello… I was cutting the bar line and didn’t want to lose my spot. lol
    We should plan another blogger meetup soon!

  8. Thanks everyone!

    Elina – Yes, definitely :) I have another event idea in the works actually, details to come soon!

    Nicole – I know, just typing the number out made me cringe! I think using half and half instead of heavy cream would probably work well, but I don’t think I’d go too much further than that because it’s supposed to be sinful and indulgent :)

  9. This sounds so tasty and I like that you could dress iy up for a fancy meal or just serve it everyday. Love the color. I’m going to look for some crab at Costco!

  10. Yep, gotta splurge on the heavy cream once in a while! I am definitely going to put this on my list of things to make – and I do sometimes buy the claw meat at Trader Joe’s for $7.99 – you get all the flavor of the lump crab but not the price tag.

  11. this sounds delicious! i have only just started to enjoy crab (mostly in the form of cakes), so it doesn’t occur to me to buy it more often. i really should, though, maybe with warmer weather 😉

  12. Great job on Foodnet…Id like to say I was even more inpressed with what you do outside the kitchen. Your work is much appriciated.

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