Fresh Dungeness Crab Recipe Series: Silky Dungeness Crab Bisque

There's something undeniably luxurious about a well-crafted bisque—a creamy, smooth soup that pairs the richness of seafood with a velvety texture that coats the palate with every spoonful.

Our Dungeness Crab Bisque elevates this concept, spotlighting the delicate sweetness of Dungeness crab, a treasure from the cool waters of the Pacific. This bisque is more than just a dish; it's a culinary experience, blending the rustic charm of fresh seafood with the refined elegance of classic French cooking.


  • 1 lb Dungeness crab meat, plus shells for stock
  • 4 cups seafood or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or sherry (optional)
  • Fresh thyme, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Infuse the Stock: Begin by simmering the crab shells in the stock for 30 minutes to extract their rich flavor. Strain the stock to remove the shells, setting aside the flavorful liquid for your bisque.

  2. Cook the Vegetables: In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, cooking until they start to soften but not brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a further 2 minutes, deepening the flavors.

  3. Flambé: Carefully add the brandy or sherry to the pot and allow it to flambé (optional). Once the flames subside, this step adds a complex depth to the bisque.

  4. Make the Roux: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat. Cook for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste, forming the base of your thickening agent.

  5. Blend the Bisque: Add the diced potato and prepared stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potato is tender. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup directly in the pot until smooth. For an even silkier texture, pass the soup through a fine sieve.

  6. Final Touches: Return the bisque to a clean pot and stir in the heavy cream. Gently heat through, then fold in the Dungeness crab meat, being careful not to let the soup boil. Season with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.

  7. Serve with Elegance: Ladle the bisque into bowls, garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh thyme or chives. For an added touch of sophistication, offer a dollop of crème fraîche or a few drops of truffle oil on top.

This Dungeness Crab Bisque recipe invites you to pause and savor the complexities of flavor and texture that can be achieved with simple, high-quality ingredients. Each element, from the freshly caught crab to the aromatic vegetables and herbs, plays a pivotal role in creating a bisque that's as comforting as it is refined. Whether served as a starter at a dinner party or enjoyed as a luxurious main course, this bisque promises to delight and impress with its depth of flavor and creamy elegance.

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