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

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35 Responses to Crab and Red Pepper Bisque

  1. I love crab bisque… Saving this for when i return to the real cold world

  2. Joanne says:

    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.

  3. elra says:

    That look simply irresistible Kerstin. Crab is one of my favorite seafood.

  4. Meghan says:

    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!

  5. terri says:

    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!

  6. Nicole says:

    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!

  7. sophia says:

    Wow, how rich and decadent is this soup? Man it sounds and looks sooo good. Wouldn’t I like this served to me…in a crusty, fat bread bowl! :-)

  8. grace says:

    ‘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!

  9. peachkins says:

    This is a very rich and delicious soup!

  10. Erica says:

    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

  11. Natashya says:

    Oh my, that does look creamy and elegant!

  12. This sounds like an amazing soup, perfect for a cold Boston day! I love having a thick, creamy, and decadent soup, and the crab looks awesome!

  13. Ooo, I just got a nice lump crabmeat and would love to make this tonight, yum!

  14. Elina says:

    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!

  15. Maria says:

    Loving this one! Great color and I am sure great taste too:)

  16. Nicole, RD says:

    Yum!! A big yikes to the fat grams, ahh! I wonder how this would be if I lightened it up some? : )

  17. Blond Duck says:

    It sounds just magnificent! If only I could eat shellfish…

  18. Juliana says:

    Kerstin, what a fantastic soup…crab and red roasted pepper…looks so delicious and full of flavor…very nice picture as well :-)

  19. 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 :)

  20. Danielle says:

    That sure looks like one amazing bisque! I haven’t had a bisque in a long time and now I am craving some…NOW!

  21. Wendy says:

    Ooh…the bisque sounds delicious. YUM.

  22. megan says:

    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!

  23. Bob says:

    Heh, yeah that’s not fair. ;) Sounds fantastic though!

  24. Sues says:

    Mmmm that’s such a good idea! And a really nice alternative to lobster bisque. Such a pretty color, too :)

  25. Biz says:

    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.

  26. Bridget says:

    YUM! That soup sounds incredible! Congrats on the 5k too!!! I still can’t believe we all ran in that weather…craziness.

  27. Patty says:

    This looks amazing! Off I go to get some crab, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  28. Monica H says:

    I love Costco but I’ve never tried their crab before. I’ll have to check it out the nex ttime I’m there.

    Soup looks awesome!

  29. Debbie says:

    That is a wow dish! Looks fantastic and I can imagine how delicious it would be!

  30. This sounds amazing..with the roasted peppers and the crab..a must try!

  31. Shannon says:

    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 ;)

  32. Danielle says:

    Yum! This has me wanting to go buy some crab right now! Great combination of flavors.

  33. This soup sounds amazing! I’ve used the crab from Costco, and it’s great.

  34. pita bread says:

    Crab bisque – my very favorite. I’m always on the lookout for a new way to make it. Am sure it tastes as good as it looks.

  35. Michael McQuain says:

    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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