This is my version of crab bisque. As we know, bisque is a creamy soup of French origin. The most common is lobster bisque. This time I decided to make crab bisque simply because I had some canned crab meat on hand. I know, the perfectionist among you are probably screaming, “Canned crabmeat? Sacrê bleu, what a travesty!” Well, get over it. The canned product can be just as good given the proper preparation and condiments.
This hearty soup is a bit on the spicy side. That’s how we like it in our bailiwick. You can always adjust the seasoning as desired. You’ll notice I do not use heavy cream in this recipe. Just milk and flour; and it comes out just as smooth and creamy. But if you want to make it half milk and half cream, be my guest. With some crusty bread and good Amontillado sherry to wash it down, you have a superb meal.
Half a stick of butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced small
1 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine (can substitute Riesling if you want a sweeter flavor)
1 gallon whole milk
4 cans (4½ oz.) crabmeat or 1½ pound fresh picked crab
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 lemons zested and juiced
Bunch fresh chives
- In a large soup pan, heat butter on medium heat. Add onion and, with a wire or plastic whisk, cook for 4 minutes. The onion should be translucent. Add flour and mix well. The mixture should look like thin frosting. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Mix in wine and cook until wine is almost gone.
- Slowly add the milk in 3 different batches letting the milk return to a simmer each time. Make sure to add and whisk the milk slowly so you do not get lumps. Mix in the salt.
- Add crabmeat, Herbs de Provence, paprika, cayenne, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix well. Return soup to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve with fresh chives on top.
Yield: 6 or more servings.