Crab Grab

Getting down to bisque-ness

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Since late May, I’ve spent an inexplicable amount of time fantasizing about the crab bisque I inhaled with glee at the Old Edison Inn during a birthday lunch date with my significant other at the longtime Skagit Valley eatery.

And although everything we consumed on that sunny spring day was divine—the oyster shooters popped with briny overtones, the fish tacos were fresh and fabulous, and my fella’s patty melt was one of the best he says he’s ever had—I haven’t been able to get the savory seafood bisque out of my mind.

Luckily, I had the chance to try my hand at re-creating the soup after a recent visit from relatives in Minnesota found us with extra Dungeness we’d sourced to give the landlubbers a sample of what it tastes like to live near the ocean.

I took some liberties with the simple crab bisque recipe listed here by doubling down on the wine, lessening the amount of stock, using half-and-half instead of heavy cream and squirting the juice of an entire lemon into the finished product. I also used salted butter, rice that had already been cooked and threw some garlic in with the sauteed onions.

Nevertheless, the end result was delicious, and finally satiated my lust for the crustacean-focused dish—at least until the next time we visit Edison.


Simple Crab Bisque


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
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


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until they are soft, about five 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.

Stir two-thirds of the crab meat into the soup, then transfer it to a blender—or use an immersion blender—and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat.

Stir in the remaining crab meat, cream, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat until the cream and crab meat are warmed through, about five minutes. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

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