Bizarre Foods Monday: Dungeness Crab Bisque

I’m running way late with dinner tonight because it’s ungodly hot and I couldn’t bring myself to fire up the stove until after 10pm. Crab isn’t all that bizarre but it’s a little intimidating to rip a whole one apart with your bare hands. These are Dungeness crabs, which I never got to taste when I lived in Washington state. I’m still partial to King crab but these have a surprising amount of meat on them and they taste nice. Hubby was extra impressed with this dish. I dare venture he’ll request it again far too soon. I subbed lobster stock for fish stock, bourbon for the Cognac and skipped the tomatoes.

crab bisque


  • 4 Dungeness crabs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 shallots, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 10 cups fish stock or water
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups coconut milk
    or heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley or chopped chives


1. Cut the crabs into quarters after removing the claws. Add the olive oil to a heated 6-quart stockpot, and saute the crab pieces. As the pieces turn red, remove them and set aside. Add the chopped carrot, celery, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and tarragon. Saute the vegetables for 10 minutes. Next add the cognac and ignite. After the flame has subsided, deglaze with white wine. Add the tomato paste, crab pieces, and enough fish stock or water to cover completely (approx. 10 cups). Season with cayenne, thyme, and bay leaf. Gently boil the soup for 15 minutes.2. Remove the crab pieces from the soup and set aside. Reduce the cream by half in a small saucepan. Add the reduced cream to the pot and stir. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender in several batches. Strain the pureed soup, and let it simmer in the stock pot to keep warm.

3. Remove the crab meat from the claws and cut into small pieces. Add to the soup. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley or chives. Add croutons or crackers if desired.

~ by accordingtoleanne on June 22, 2015.

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