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+ servings
Crab soup in a bowl with micro greens
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5 from 5 votes

Crab Bisque

For the ultimate fall or winter luxury, make a big batch of homemade crab bisque. It's rich, creamy, sweet, and totally satisfying. We love to top this delicate soup with micro greens and freshly ground black pepper. Make today, freeze tomorrow, and enjoy all season long!
Prep15 mins
Cook45 mins
Total1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: jumbo lump crab meat, seafood bisque, seafood stock
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 307kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • 2 ½ cups onion diced, about 1 onion
  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • 1 cup fennel diced
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup Cognac see note
  • 3 cups shellfish stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • Fresh lemon for serving
  • arugula micro greens or other tender greens for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Sweat the veggies. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced onions, carrots, and fennel, then cook 5-7 minutes.
  • To the pot, add potato, garlic, and fresh herbs (tied together with kitchen twine). Season with 1 tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Next, add tomato paste, stirring to break up.
  • Pour in Cognac, then ignite with a lighter or cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Stir in seafood stock and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes.
    How to make seafood bisque step-by-step
  • Remove herbs, then use an immersion blender to purée. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in a food processor. Either way, pass the soup through a sieve to remove any small solids.
  • Add heavy cream, then stir in fresh crab meat, reserving a small amount to top each bowl with. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed (you'll likely need another ½ tsp Kosher salt at least, unless your shellfish stock was already salty!). Squeeze half a fresh lemon into the soup, then give one final stir.
    Adding heavy cream and crab to soup
  • Divide bisque into bowls, then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt, arugula micro greens (or fresh herbs), and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. If you want, you can drizzle an additional 1 tsp heavy cream on each bowl of soup before serving. This is merely aesthetic, as there's already cream stirred into the soup.
    Close up of crab bisque in a bowl


  • Yes, you can substitute lobster or shrimp for crab. Any crustacean will work beautifully!
  • If you don't have cognac, feel free to substitute with white wine or sherry. It won't give you the same depth of flavor, but it'll work in a pinch!
  • Traditional seafood bisque is thickened with rice, which needs to cook for about 20 minutes in the pot of soup before puréeing.  Add the rice at the same time you add the seafood stock, the purée when directed.
  • Don't skip the heavy cream! It's bisque, after all, meaning it's finished with heavy cream. Trust me, it completely changes the taste and texture of the soup. It goes from a seafood soup to utter luxury.
  • While the micro greens may not seem like they add a ton, they provide a much needed textural contrast, as well as a slight bite, which is perfect alongside the sweet, delicate crab meat. If you don't have arugula micro greens, use baby arugula or even chopped parsley or tarragon to finish the bisque.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 830mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3249IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
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