Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup soup and about 1/4 cup crabmeat mixture)

"I wanted to create a second course that is indulgent, rich, and pretty, too. Funny: The first time we tried this crab bisque and pureed the soup in a food processor, we almost decided to start over because the texture wasn't smooth enough. But then we put it in the blender, and it came out perfectly creamy." --Mary Drennen Ankar, Test Kitchen Professional

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots and celery to pan; cook 10 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in vermouth; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Add salt, peppers, and 8 ounces crabmeat.

Step 2

Combine milk and clam juice in a large bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Whisk flour into milk mixture; add to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.

Step 3

Place half of milk mixture in blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining milk mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in cream; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Step 4

Combine the remaining 8 ounces crabmeat, chives, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Top soup with the crabmeat mixture.

Step 5

Wine note: If there's ever a time to pull out a good chardonnay, it's when crab is on the table. The wine's lush apple fruit loves the sweet shellfish, and if you pick a wine with an edge of creamy citrus, it works like a twist of lemon. Napa Valley's 2007 Antica Chardonnay ($35), from Italy's Antinori family, is your bottle for the Crab Bisque, with crisp citrus and bracing herbs balancing its sweet fruit. --Sara Schneider

Ratings & Reviews

missytoe's Review

November 28, 2009
I was disappointed in this recipe; it was very bland. Should I have been using Sweet Vermouth? Or maybe sherry would have been better...I ended up adding a LOT more dry vermouth and some white wine to pep it up. Not a bad dish, just didn't stand out in my mind. I will not remake.

MyTastyRecipes's Review

January 10, 2014
This was OK, a bit bland. It could use a little kick.

Amhaasy81's Review

January 10, 2010
I made some changes to the recipe to use what I had in my kitchen, used yellow onions that I had on hand, sweet white wine instead of vermoth, and imatation crabmeat instead of real-but still very delicious, the hubbie loved it!

LutzCat's Review

November 29, 2009
This bisque is divine and full of flavor. The clam juice gives it depth of flavor and the small addition of heavy cream makes it tastes decadent. Very rich, so a 3/4 cup serving plus 1/4 cup of crab is more than adequate. And at 188 calories & 6.7g of fat UNBELIEVABLY tasty!

Laurie18's Review

December 27, 2009
I had 8 oz of left over lump crab so I halfed this recipe. It was good but I might have made a mistake with the flour as I thought it had too much flour for that pastey flavor. I would try it again as the recipe is written.

mrscrazyed's Review

March 22, 2012
Unfortunately, DH and I didn't particularly care for this dish. I was excited that it had so little fat and calories, but in the end the lack of creaminess one expects in a bisque was missing. The only thing I did different was to add a little white pepper for a little bit of a kick. I did, however, like the mixture of crab, lemon juice and chives. May use that idea for something else.

Margee1's Review

February 02, 2010
I agree with Emscot20, this was so fishy and had no taste. I followed all directions and used the ingredients they called for. I have made other crab bisques that are much easier and taste much better. Would not make again.

Emscot20's Review

January 08, 2010
This was awful. It was so fishy due to the amount of clam juice. I would never make it again.

cduffy370's Review

December 23, 2011
We enjoyed this bisque tonight for a pre-Christmas dinner with salad and sourdough bread. It was delicious and very filling. I only had 1 cup of shallots, so that is all I used. And I used sherry in place of the vermouth.

nwilker's Review

January 01, 2011
I used sherry vs vermouth, and fake crab instead of real - but it was great! Hubby was scared of the clam juice but admitted later he couldn't tell. Will definitely make again!