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Smoky Crab Bisque

I was in need of a quick mid-week dinner and had a pound of crab claw meat. And, given that the chill of autumn is descending on the central coast of California, I opted to make soup! This is remarkably simple, but tastes decadent.


Ingredients
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 C bacon, diced
  • 1/2 C onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 C diced bell peppers (I used a mixture of yellow and red peppers)
  • 1/4 C gluten-free flour
  • 6 C stock (I used a mixture of fish and chicken stock because that's what I had)
  • 2 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1-1/2 C organic heavy cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fresh, cooked crab meat + more for garnish
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 3 to 4 T fresh parsley, minced
  • bread for serving (gluten-free, if needed)


Procedure
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter in a splash of olive oil. Add bacon and cook until the fat is rendered, but the bacon is not yet crisped. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until softened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in 1 C of broth, whisking to prevent clumping. Pour in the remaining broth, whisking to incorporate.

Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The soup should be nicely thickened. Stir in the tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, and smoked paprika. Let that simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in the cream and add the crab. Cook until warmed through.

Pour in the wine and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste, adjusting salt and pepper as needed. Add some cayenne, if desired. Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley.

To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls. Float a toasted slice of bread in the bowl and garnish with more crab meat.

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