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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the cream and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely soft.
  • 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.
  • Cooking Crab:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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