Dungeness Crab Bisque with Fennel Pesto

Dungeness Crab Bisque with Fennel Pesto

Salty's Crab Bisque soup rivals the splendor of Salty's Seafood Chowder. A velvety bisque made with Dungeness Crab is slowly simmered in rich cream and thickened with rice (a traditional method). Balanced with a winter squash fritter and a charred fennel pesto, this dish will make your tongue smile.

Dungeness Crab Bisque with Fennel Pesto

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for Crab Bisque

2 each 2-pound Dungeness crabs, cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns, whole black
1/4 teaspoon fennel whole
1 each bay leaf
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 quart water
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup calrose rice
salt to taste

Crab Bisque Directions
  1. Clean crab lungs and guts and then remove all meat out of crab reserving shells for soup.
  2. Heat a large sauce pot to medium heat.
  3. Add olive oil and crab shells and toast until red in color.
  4. Add onion, celery, carrots and tomato paste and toast for 3 minutes.
  5. Add peppercorns, fennel seed and bay leaf and toast for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Add white wine and cook until alcohol odor is gone from the pan.
  7. Add water and simmer until water reduces by half. Skim the stock regularly with a ladle.
  8. Add cream and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Strain shells out of soup and then clean pot and replace soup back in pot.
  10. Add rice and cook until rice is soft.
  11. Strain rice out of soup and finish with half of the picked Dungeness crab and salt to taste.
Fennel Pesto Ingredients

1/2 bulb fennel
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
sprinkle of salt
3 grinds fresh pepper
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon ground parmesan cheese
8 leaves basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Fennel Pesto Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle fennel with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  3. Place on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes or until fennel is charred and soft.
  4. Pull fennel from oven and place in refrigerator.
  5. On a large cutting board start chopping fennel bulb and pine nuts with a knife.
  6. Add parmesan cheese, basil, garlic and sea salt. Keep chopping until ingredients start to come together.
  7. Finish pesto with salt and olive oil.

Note: pesto should look rustic and not over-chopped.

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