Crab Bisque

You can either buy cooked crab meat or to cook your own. Serve the soup as a starter or for lunch with crusty bread.


  • 50 g butter
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 400 g cooked crab meat from 2 medium-large crabs (white and brown meat if possible)
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tsp peeled and finely chopped root ginger
  • 600 ml crab or prawn shrimp stock or fish stock
  • 200 g chopped fresh or tinned tomatoes
  • 100 ml single or regular cream


  1. A bisque is a gorgeous rich creamy soup made using fish, shellfish or meat. This crab bisque is fab - the sweetness of the crab meat is lightened ever so slightly by the tomatoes and ginger.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat, then add the onion with some salt and pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is softened but not browned.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the cream and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely soft.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whiz the soup in a blender. Reheat gently if necessary and stir in the cream, season to taste and serve immediately with some crusty bread.
  5. Cooking Crab:
  6. First place the crab in the freezer for a couple of hours so that it is unconscious before boiling. To cook it, place in a large saucepan, cover with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt for every 1.2 litres (2 pints) of water and bring to the boil.
  7. Simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) and then pour off about two-thirds of the water, cover with a lid and continue to cook for a further 6 minutes. To check to see if the crab is cooked, gently shake it quite close to your ear and you shouldn't hear liquid splashing around. Remove the crab and allow to cool.
  8. Once the crab has cooled, remove the large claws and crack these (using a heavy weight or nut crackers), then extract every bit of meat using the handle of a teaspoon. Retain the shell if making dressed crab or stock, otherwise discard all of the shell. Turn the body of the crab upside down and pull out the centre portion.
  9. Discard the gills, known as 'dead man's fingers', each about 4cm (1 ½ in) long. Scoop out all the lovely brown meat and add it to the white meat from the claws. The meat can be used immediately or frozen for future use.


Note: 450g of cooked crab in the shell yields approximately 175-225g crab meat. This recipe and many more are available in Rachel's book, 'Rachel Allen: Entertaining at Home', published by Harper Collins.


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