Sunday, September 27, 2015

Shrimp and Crab Bisque

I've been back from Montana for about one month.  The Trout followed me just over a week ago.  It was a cooler summer than usual, but the smoke from the forest fires in Washington and Idaho really did a job on us.  It was not very pleasant and it went on for a long time.  The fishing was so-so, but we managed to keep busy and enjoy our time.

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
pinch cayenne
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. 


  1. Your bisque is gorgeous Susan. Making your own shrimp stock so much easier that making other kinds of stocks and what a difference. Glad to see you back.

  2. I agree that the shrimp stock makes a world of difference!
    This soup looks delicious.


  3. Mmmm, mmm! Sounds and looks delicious, Susan!
    I can imagine with the smoke as I remember when we were in Denver several years ago with the smoke from fires in the air. Take care

  4. The bisque looks delicious Susan and I like the addition of the shrimp.

  5. This sounds scrumptious! I love being inspired by dining out!

  6. This sounds wonderful, Susan! I like so much how you and the Trout worked together to figure it out.

  7. This does sound fantastic, Susan! I'm so glad you wrote it down. I have both shrimp and king crab legs in the freezer and would love to try your recipe.

  8. Susan, I can taste it! I will have to get some fresh crab and make this, and I know that Pete will love it. Of course I will too. ;) Miss you.

  9. Oh, does this sound delicious! I love a great bisque and with shrimp and crab this has to be on the top of the list. It will be coming to a table at my house soon!

  10. I must confess, I've never made a bisque of any kind. And I do love ordering lobster bisque in a restaurant, one I know where that dish shines. It's a favorite of mine. I really must try this recipe...can't believe I've never tried. Like the idea of pieces of shrimp in it, and the sherry always makes the dish. Oh yes, must have some French bread to sop up what's left!

  11. Oh my goodness, this looks decadent, Susan. I've never made a bisque and can't wait to try your recipe. I think I'll try it with Dungeness crab. It's available in our fish markets now. Do you think the crab shells would work for the stock?

    1. I would definitely try it with the crab shells. Wish I could get Dungeness crab as easily as you can.

  12. Oh, how I love a good bisque! A couple of years ago, I made a lobster bisque that was awesome (roasting the shells and making stock). I didn't write down how I did it, like you did. So, now, I don't know if I can replicate it. (Smacks forehead). Good for you for writing it looks absolutely delish.

  13. Your glowing review of my gingersnaps made my day! So happy they were a hit. Wishing you a happy holiday season!! P.S. Your bisque looks incredible!!!

  14. Wishing you and The Trout all the very best in 2017!! blessings and hugs ~ tanna