DUNGENESS CRAB BISQUE
- 4 4 4Dungeness crabs
- 3 3 3tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeextra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1 1carrot, chopped
- 2 2 2stalks celery, chopped
- 3 3 3tomatoes, chopped
- 5 5 5cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 5 5shallots, chopped
- 3 3 3sprigs fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 3 3 3tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeCognac
- 3 3 3cups CUP_USVolumedry white wine
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumetomato paste
- 10 10 10cups CUP_USVolumefish stock or water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Pinch dried thyme
- 1 1 1bay leaf
- 2 2 2cups CUP_USVolumeheavy cream
- 1 1 1lemon, juiced
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumeminced chives or parsley leaves
- Remove the claws from the crabs and, with a large, sharp knife or cleaver, carefully quarter the bodies. Heat a 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the crab pieces until they turn red or, if they were bought already cooked, for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the crab pieces. Add the carrot, celery, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and tarragon and continue to sauté for 10 minutes. Pour in the cognac and, with a long wooden match, ignite it. When the flames have subsided, pour in the white wine and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot. Add the tomato paste, crab pieces, and enough fish stock or water to cover. Season to taste with salt, pepper, a little cayenne, thyme, and bay leaf and boil gently for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, boil the cream until it has reduced by half. Remove the crab bodies from the pot and set them aside. Add the reduced cream to the pot. In batches, puree the soup in a food processor. Strain the pureed soup through a fine-meshed strainer, return it to the pot, and keep warm.
Remove the meat from the claws, cut it into bite-size pieces, and add to the soup. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve in heated soup bowls and garnish with minced chives or parsley.
Note: Serves 6 to 8
ABOUT THIS RECIPE
A classic, refined cream soup, this recipe features the meat of a large, flavorful crab variety found on America’s West Coast. Fish markets generally sell it already cooked.