Latin Crab Bisque

After searching high and low at several grocery stores for ancho chile powder, a frequently used ingredient in my Rick Bayless cookbook (which is awesome by the way!), I finally managed to visit our local Penzeys and pick some up. I went in for the chile powder and came out with all these other goodies too – smoked Spanish paprika, Mexican oregano, sumac berries (recipe suggestions anyone?), almond extract, whole nutmeg, and pickling spices – yay!

Since it’s suddenly December and freezing in Boston, I decided to use my new purchase to spice up my crab and red pepper bisque. I also mixed in cumin, cayenne pepper, lime juice, corn, and cilantro and will definitely be making this again. I have all the ingredients to test two more soup recipes this week and already can’t wait!

Latin Crab Bisque
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked corn kernels (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat canola oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet and sauté onions for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Remove from heat.

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, ancho chile powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and sautéed onions to the stockpot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Add 14 ounces lump crabmeat and use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth or place batches in a blender and process until smooth.

Add cream to the stockpot and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through; stir in lime juice and salt. Scoop into 4 serving bowls and garnish with remaining 2 ounces crabmeat, corn kernels, and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition: 580 calories, 41.1g fat, 4.0g fiber, 24.4g protein per serving
Cost: $5.31 per serving

33 Responses to Latin Crab Bisque

  1. Crab bisque…latin style. With ancho chile powder. That is genius. I love Penzey’s. I’ve had a blogger friend send some to me, and I adore them. I also love that you topped it with corn; the burst of juicy sweetness would work really well here!

  2. Awesome spin on lobster bisque! I’ve been craving soup like crazy what with this cold weather we’ve been having, so I’m looking forward to seeing what other soups you make :)

  3. Who knew this was such a hard to find item. My Russian cookbook keeps calling for hot Hangarian paprika. I keep using regular but I know it’s not the same. Maybe I need to make a trip to that store.
    PS – that soup sounds SO good. Definitely too indulgent for a regular meal for me but as a special treat, I’m all for it. I love everything-crab! 😀

  4. Sooo funny since I just commented last night on your chicken tacos post about ancho chili powder! I will have to look in my area for a Penzeys or buy online. Thanks!

    Great flavors in that bisque!

  5. Sounds like the perfect soup for this cold weather! I love trying new spices. My aunt sent me a maple cranberry rub that I think I am finally going to try out tonight!

  6. I really need to pay a visit to Penzey’s. It’s so close that I really have no excuse! So many exciting spices to be tried.

    I think sumac is used a lot in Middle Eastern dishes. I know Elra of Elra’s Cooking has a few good recipes that use it.

    This soup looks so delicious. All that intense flavor form the spices!

  7. I love Penzey’s spices! I have one in my town. If you didn’t get on their mailing list, sign up because every month in their flyer, they have lots of recipes as well as a coupon to try a new small spice.

    This bisque looks so good!

  8. Definitely just printed this.. It is finally cold in Texas and that means its soup/stew/bisque season. And did I mention how much I love crab?? It reminds me of home (Virginia).. I can’t wait to try this!

  9. Kerstin, sumac is used often in middle eastern recipes, especially as part of marinades and flavor components, etc. I’ve often seen it sprinkled over hummus, for example. It’s also one of the spices that makes up za’atar – a lebanese spice blend that’s become quite available (and popular). I guess you would just have to crush the berries to get the ground sumac. Or use the whole berries to flavor a soup or stew. Have fun experimenting!

  10. ahh I can’t believe you only just made it to Penzeys, I love that place and wish I lived closer! (I usually order online, or go to the one in Hartford when I visit family there.) The soup sounds wonderful!

  11. Your soup looks gorgeous – and I agree – Penzey’s is great. I visited the one in CT and realized that I could have just gone there when I needed ancho chile powder instead of driving all over Boston searching for it!

  12. I’m a huge fan of Penzeys. That said, I just discovered the Chicago Spice House and am in love with it too. I think Penzey’s will always have the biggest place in my heart, but I love that they have a whole gastronomy section. I also have some powdered porcinis that I have been meaning to make something fun with.

  13. Oh man, every day I go to Penzey’s is a good day. It’s practically right down the street from my house in St. Louis. Talk about danger zone. I could spend all day and my entire paycheck in that place.

  14. Thanks everyone! I’m already almost out of the ancho chile powder already so I’m going to have to stop by Penzeys again soon – so fun!

    Nicole – I don’t have any experience with fat free half and half, so I’m not sure, but let me know if you try it!

    Joanne, Jennifer, and Hanadi – Thanks so much for the suggestions :)

    Kelly – Oh, powdered porcinis sound amazing!

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