You might remember me mentioning the fabulous restaurant that inspired the fried green tomatoes that I made a couple of weeks ago – Lightfoot Restaurant in Leesburg, VA. It was definitely one of my most memorable meals I’ve had in the past year and I continue to be inspired by everything that ended up on the table that night. My Chief Culinary Consultant ordered the crab bisque that night and raved about it for months afterward. I immediately put it on my “to-make” list and was able to cross it off this summer.
This is a quick and easy bisque recipe that can be ready in less than 45 minutes. I took a shortcut by using store-bought seafood stock, but you could absolutely make your own if you’d like (be sure to click over to the original recipe on Simply Recipes for the stock). The flavor of crab is bright and bold, and accented by the wine, tomato paste and heavy cream. While hot soups usually make me think of fall and winter, this crab bisque is a perfect summer send-off. The flavors remind me of the ocean, summer and beaches; it’s the perfect segue from summer to fall foods.
A quick recipe for a robust and flavorful Crab Bisque
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
1 quart (4 cups) seafood stock
1 cup white rice
¾ cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
16 ounces crab meat, divided
1¼ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, rice, wine and tomato paste, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
2. Stir two-thirds of the crab meat into the soup, then transfer it to a blender (work in batches if you have a small blender) and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
3. Stir in the remaining crab meat, cream, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat until the cream and crab meat are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.