- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 lbs King crab (preferably claws – more meat)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning – or alternative (see below)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 Tblsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Parsley & extra heavy cream for garnish
Well, things did not exactly go to plan with this recipe. From the get go I hit road blocks – like going to 3 different grocery stores searching for Old Bay Seasoning and spraying hot vegetable stock all over my kitchen – but the creamy final product of this crab bisque turned my slight burns and messy kitchen into afterthoughts. Luckily for you I tried this recipe for the both of us and can now help you navigate these road blocks.
Quick side rant – is there a national shortage on Old Bay Seasoning? Seriously though, I went to THREE seperate grocery stores and couldn’t find it. I thought I was losing my mind pacing back and forth down the spice aisle beady eyed and rubbing my chin like a crack riddled philosopher. I got to the point where I was looking up copycat recipes in the middle of the aisle as people tried to pass – and of course all of these recipes consisted of approximately 14 different spices. After deciding that I didn’t want to “pinch of this and pinch of that” myself into $100 in spices I opted for a different seafood seasoning and it still turned out great.
So, the first road block I hit once I actually started cooking was how to crack these sharp shells without the proper nut/crab shell crackers. If you’re like me your animalistic lizard brain will take over at the sight of the glistening crab meat – enacting restraint at this point is crucial for preventing bodily harm. I tried cracking the first two by hand while doing my best otter impersonation and nearly punctured myself with each crack. I then improvised and used the handles of a can opener and broke them open that way – the moral of the story is find a way, any way to crack these bad boys open. Another option that would work would be to wrap the claws in a clean hand towel before ripping them apart like the animal you are. Luckily for me I didn’t have to cut up the crab meat before adding it to the bisque because I removed it like a caveman. If you have the proper utensils and use some semblance of restraint you’ll probably have nice meaty chunks of crab meat – good for you, I’m happy for you – now good luck not eating all of it in a bowl of hot butter.
For the love of god – SAVE THE SHELLS FOR YOUR BROTH! – if you dont do this you might as well buy canned crab meat and if you’re doing that you might as well not waste your time reading on.
The next road block I hit was overlooking the crucial step of blending my mirepoix and broth. Say it with me – MEER-UH-PWAH. Mirepoix is simply carrots, onion, and celery and is the base to many soup recipes. If you’re like me your animalistic lizard brain will take over at the sight of the glistening crab meat – enacting restraint at this point is crucial for preventing bloody hands. What I forgot in regards to my mirepoix was that I didn’t own a blender or an immersion blender – the closest thing I have is a Kitchenaide food processor best suited for things herbs, or hard ingredients – not liquids. I ended up having to cover the top of my food processor with saran wrap because not using the saran wrap caused hot mirepoix infused vegetable broth to go hurling throughout my kitchen. Unless being burned by hot candle wax turns you on – and you happen to be out of candles – save yourself the messy kitchen and get yourself a proper blender because the broth burns aren’t a necessary step to this recipe.
After I was done playing “kitchen Gallagher” and flinging broth on an imaginary kitchen audience the recipe came together quite smoothly. After you blend your mirepoix and broth add it back to your stovetop, add your herbs and seafood seasoning, and bring back to a simmer. Let your broth simmer like the hot tub at a retirement home before removing the bay leaves and slowly adding the heavy cream. The last step – and really the bisque metamorphosis – is adding the corn starch and milk mixture to your soup. This will transform your thick soup into a creamy bisque like a caterpillar exiting its chrysalis as a beautiful, creamy, bisque butterfly.
Throw in your glistening crab meat and – baboom – crab bisque ready to be served. Garnish with fresh parsley and spoon heavy cream over top for that “extra” touch.
- Bake crab legs @ 350°f for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Heat vegetable broth on stovetop while crab cooks over medium low heat.
- Remove meat from crab legs – saving both the meat and shells.
- Add crab shells to your vegetable broth and simmer for 20 minutes or longer – really infuse that crab taste into the broth.
- Strain broth of crab shells into a seperate bowl and save for later.
- At this point you should have the crab meat and broth saved in separate bowls.
- Rinse out your pot to remove any excess shells and add your butter, garlic, and mirepoix (celery, carrot, and onion).
- Cook until translucent and tender and then add your saved broth.
- Bring to a simmer and then blend using either a blender or immersion blender – or if your like me, a mixer that initially sends bisque precum flying all over your kitchen.
- After your veggies and broth are blended together put it back on your stovetop, add herbs and seafood seasoning and bring back to a simmer.
- Slowly stir in heavy cream to thicken.
- In a seperate bowl mix together cold milk and corn starch until it is lump free.
- Add milk and cornstarch mixture to your bisque slowly until combined – this is really the step that turns your soup to a bisque.
- Add crab meat and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve, and garnish with heavy cream and chopped parsley.
- Try not to make yourself sick by hearing yourself repeatedly going “mhmmm” with every bite…