Crab Bisque


A little while ago, and Hubs and I indulged in tasty king crab legs. There’s something about cracking open those tough shells, and pulling the meat out in one long, satisfying lump. A splash of lemon, and a quick dip in melted butter, and I was a very happy camper

I searched for a while looking for a recipe for crab bisque. This recipe seemed the least labor-intensive. I actually made this soup twice, because we ate the first batch so quickly. The first time I made it, I halved the recipe, and followed the instructions exactly. However, it seemed like a waste of all that lovely crabmeat that cooks to make the broth. It ends up getting tossed with the aromatics and the shells. The second time I made it, I reserved a bunch of the crabmeat, and the flavor didn’t suffer at all. This also meant that I didn’t have to get extra meat to use for the garnish.

Next time, I’m going to try using basmati rice, for a slightly nutty flavor.

Adapted from Gourmet
December 2007

Crab Bisque

Crab Bisque


2 ½ lbs crab legs, cooked
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ tsp ground clove
½ c cognac or brandy
1/2 c dry white whine
2 c chicken stock
3 c water
¼ c uncooked white rice
½ tsp finely chopped tarragon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Separate crabmeat from shells. Break the shells into pieces (if they aren’t already.) Reserve about 2/3 c of the meat and keep cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, thyme, clove. Season with salt and pepper. Add cognac, wine, crushed crab shells and the rest of the crabmeat. Bring to a boil. Add broth and water and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and skim any foam off the top. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring and skimming occasionally.
  3. Place a colander on top of a large bowl. Drain the crab broth. Discard the solids. Place 1 c of the broth in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, and simmer, covered, until the rice is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Blend the rice and remaining liquid with another 1 c of the broth until smooth. Return mixture to the saucepan, along with the rest of the broth. Heat until the bisque is hot. Right before serving, stir in the tarragon, lemon juice, and cayenne (if using). Garnish with some of the reserved crabmeat.


Read More:


Sweet Comments:

  1. Looks awesome. It does seem like waste, I agree. I would be hesitant myself.

  2. This looks really good and something I could even muster up the courage to try. Do you use cooked or uncooked rice?

  3. Elsie, I hope you do give the soup a try. It tastes divine. The rice is uncooked – it gets cooked in some of the crab broth, and blended into the soup.

  4. I saw this over on the Top Nine. The recipe sounds heavenly and the picture is gorgeous. Great job!

  5. Crab bisque is one of those beautiful things in life! I haven’t tried it yet at home but I now I might! I like the rice twist to thicken up the soup too!

  6. Thanks a lot! Hope to try it soon

Leave a Comment: