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Partan Bree (Scottish Crab Bisque)

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (9 Votes)

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. cooked Dungeness or blue crabs, meat removed from bodies and legs and finely chopped, shells broken into large chunks
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions (1 thinly sliced; 1 finely chopped)
  • 1/2 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped parsley stems, plus 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. whole white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tbsp. brandy
  • 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crème fraîche, to garnish

Details

Adapted from saveur.com

Preparation

Step 1

1. Heat oven to 400°. Place crab shells on a baking sheet, and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes; let cool. Heat 4 tbsp. butter in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion, celery, and fennel; cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add crab shells, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaves, and sliced lemon; cook for 2 minutes. Add brandy; cook 1 minute. Add 10 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 1 hour. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl; set crab broth aside.

2. Wipe saucepan clean, return to medium-high heat, and add remaining butter. Add chopped onion; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice, tomato paste, and lemon zest; cook until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add reserved crab broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Purée soup in a blender and return to saucepan over medium heat; add reserved crab meat, milk, cream, sherry, lemon juice, and paprika, and cook until meat is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among 8 bowls; garnish each bowl with a dollop of crème fraîche and some of the parsley leaves.

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