3-4 cooked crabs: shells, 1/2 meat, and juices reserved
3 T butter
1 bay leaf
1 sprig tarragon
1/4 C tomato paste
1/2 C brandy
1 C white wine
14 C fish stock or water
3 T butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic, chopped
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 C stewed tomatoes
4 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 C rice
4 C chicken stock
2 Béchamel Sauce recipe
Crème Fraiche, paprika, chives for garnish (optional)
French bread to serve
On a medium heat, fry bay leaf and tarragon in hot butter for a minute.
Add the crab shells and cook for a few minutes.
Add the tomato paste, brandy and wine. Heat through and stir well.
Pour in the fish stock or water and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
In the mean time, in a separate pot, fry onions, garlic, leeks, red pepper and carrots in butter until tender and onions are just starting to brown.
Add tomatoes, parsley, rice, and chicken stock.
Stir well, cover and bring to boil.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 min.
Strain the shells though the sieve into a big bowl, let the broth settle, then pour it into another container leaving the dust bits if any in the bowl.
Cool the vegetable mixture, add 1/2 crab meat and process with a hand blender until velvety smooth.
In a large pot, make the 2 of Béchamel Sauce.
Slowly pour the vegetable mixture and the broth into the sauce, cup by cup, stirring and making sure it stays thick.
Add cayenne and salt.
Serve the bisque in ramekins or small bowls, topped with Crème Fraiche, and French bread on a side.
Garnish with some paprika and chives.
Match made in Heaven:
A dollop of Sherry Cream Sauce to garnish soup, and French bread or bisque crackers.