I don’t like to brag. But I have to. Whenever a new person tries this soup, they pretty much lick the bowl clean. I do too. Why wouldn’t you? The combination of the creaminess meeting the seafood-y flavor meeting the sweetness of the sherry temporarily possesses you to lick every last drop and tell Miss Manners to go suck it. Without further adieu……here’s the recipe:
Crab & Shrimp Bisque
- 3 (6.5 oz.) cans white crabmeat undrained
- 16 oz. raw shrimp
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups cubed potatoes (I use red, and leave skin on)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 quart half-and-half cream
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained
- 2 tsp. honey
- approx. 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup sherry
- optional: 1 small jar of clam juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- ground black pepper to taste
First things first. The raw shrimp. Make sure they are adequately defrosted, and remove all the shells and put aside. Boil 2 cups of your chicken stock and add the shrimp shells to the stock. Let boil and then turn to low and let the shells simmer in the stock for approx. 20 minutes. Strain out shells and let this shrimp enhanced stock sit to the side. If this task seems to arduous, then skip it all together and have some clam juice on hand.
In a large skillet, add your onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Pour your shrimp-enhanced stock and the extra 2 cups of chicken stock to cover your vegetables and cook over medium heat until tender.
Forgive the yellowness of my photos. Maybe the bisque also possessed my camera and made it do weird things with the effects on my pics. Okay, back to business. Now, it’s time to make the roux. I like making roux. When I make roux, I feel French and sexy. Melt your obscene amount of butter in a large pot. Don’t burn it! Whisk in flour until smooth and let it turn a proper tan shade.
Don’t feel bad with the amounts of butter and cream that you are using. It’s worth it. Plus it’s winter. So throw on a sweater to hide all wobbly bits and indulge.
Now it’s time to add your vegetables and stock to the roux/cream. Mix well. Add your cans of crab meat including the juice inside. Mix again. Open up your can of diced tomatoes (undrained), throw that in the pot, and mix. Add your honey and sherry. The sherry adds such a beautiful nuttiness to the soup….it makes me swoon. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, but don’t let it boil. Add your salt & pepper! Last step is adding your shrimp until they turn a pretty pink. Be careful not to overcook your shrimp or they will be tough. With the shrimp you can choose to dice them up or just plunk them in there whole. I’ve done both and don’t have a favorite.
This soup is good the day of, but so much better the next day, so keep that in mind. Rip off a crusty chunk of some good artisan bread, and dip away. Then go lick your bowl.
Enjoy & keep cooking!