Easy crab bisque


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Traditionally a bisque is made with the shells of whichever crustacea you happen to be using, usually lobster or crab. The shells are often roasted and then simmered before being liquidised. Then they are pressed through a sieve to extract as much flavour as possible and add thickness to the soup.

An authentic crab bisque can seem a little daunting to make. First there is usually a live crab or two to contend with, not always easy to embrace. Then, there is the time consuming business of extracting all the crab meat, reserving the shells to create the intensely flavoured soup base. This is all very well if you have plenty of time, but it is possible to achieve the same rich flavour without using a whole crab.

I created this elegant full flavoured soup in little over 30 minutes using ready prepared crab meat and Essential Cuisine’s Lobster Glace. The rich lobster reduction creates the perfect stock base and also adds a wonderful intense flavour the finished soup.




Crab bisque

To serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped shallots/onion, fennel, carrot and bay leaves and cook gently over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft
Add the crushed garlic, stir and cook for another minute before adding the tomato purée, brown crab meat and brandy. Stir for 2 minutes, then add the stockr to combine everything. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes over a low heat
Liquidise the soup until smooth using a hand blender. Pass the soup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, taking care to extract as much liquid as possible
Gently reheat the soup before adding a few drops of lemon juice. Swirl through 1 tsp of lobster glace, stir well and taste. Add another 1–2 tsp to intensify the flavour, if required. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste
When you are ready to serve, divide the soup between shallow soup bowls. Spoon some of the white crab meat into the centre of each bowl and garnish with dill and a drizzle of double cream
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