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Dungeness Crab Bisque

Dungeness crabs
3 tablespoon s
extra-virgin olive oil
carrot, chopped
stalks celery, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
cloves garlic, chopped
shallots, chopped
sprigs fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
3 tablespoon s
3 cup s
dry white wine
2 tablespoon s
tomato paste
10 cup s
fish stock or water
Freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
Pinch dried thyme
bay leaf
2 cup s
heavy cream
lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon
minced chives or parsley leaves
  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 

Average: 3.8 (12 votes)

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.

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