While I was back in Arizona, The Trout had dinner in a restaurant in Missoula and has been raving about the Crab Bisque since then. We both have been searching for recipes that were similar to what he so enjoyed, and it has been difficult. We ended up combining parts of two recipes we found and then added our own touch to it and it was so good, I knew I had to write it down or we will never be able to duplicate it again.
As is evident in the photo, we added some whole shrimp to the top of the soup and that is a slice of my French baguette that I baked yesterday. This was an absolutely delicious treat for dinner today. Perhaps not a typical bisque, but I like the changes we made to make it ours.
Shrimp and Crab Bisque
4 to 6 servings
1 pound medium or large uncooked shrimp with shells
2 large King crab legs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cups water
salt to taste
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons dry sherry, divided
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 tablespoons, tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
Shell 1 pound large or medium uncooked shrimp, reserve the shrimp and cook the shells in a large pot over high heat in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently, until lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Then add 2/3 cup dry white wine and 2 tablespoons dry sherry. Boil until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add 6 cups water, 3 sprigs thyme and a bay leaf and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock into a bowl, pressing on the shells before discarding them.
In the same pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the meat from 2 large King crab legs and about 8 large shrimp. We cut the crab and shrimp into bite-size pieces, setting aside several shrimp for the top of the soup garnish. Sauté until the shrimp are pink, 2-4 minutes. Then transfer crab and shrimp to a bowl.
Add 3 tablespoons butter along with 2 ribs chopped celery, 1 peeled chopped carrot, 2 large leeks, white and light green only, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, and 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped and sauté about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste, pinch of cayenne and pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp stock and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. With a stick blender, process into a purée to your desired consistency. We like it a little chunky.
Add 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 more tablespoons of sherry into the bisque. Return to stove top to reheat. Stir the remaining shrimp and crab into the bisque.
Absolutely delicious and I am so glad I finally tried to make my own shrimp stock. It is so simple and I know that using chicken or vegetable broth as a substitute would not have been a good thing for this bisque.