Sweet Corn Bisque With
Alaskan King Crab
Steak with Friends
by Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody
Because a bisque is defined as a creamy soup of pureed crustaceans or vegetables, I suppose this creamy corn soup topped with a luscious crab salad is the real thing. I puree the corn to provide creamy texture and garnish the soup with magnificent Alaskan king crabmeat. Illinois sweet corn is as good as any corn anywhere, I suggest you buy the freshest local corn you can from a farm stand or farmers' market I especially like Silver Queen corn, which has small, white, super-sweet kernels. The crabmeat will be cooked when you buy the legs and just needs to be picked from the shells. This is a terrific soup to serve before just about any meal.
Serves 4 to 6
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
• 1 cup coarsely chopped peeled carrot
• 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
• 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup brandy
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
• Leaves from 2 sprigs tarragon, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 pound Alaskan king crabmeat (1½ to 2 pounds whole crab legs)
• 1 avocado,chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat and add the corn, carrot, onion, celery, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook very slowly for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Add the brandy and cook for about 2 minutes, deglazing the pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon, and bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Add the vegetable stock, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the soup is at a low simmer and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the flavors have blended. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain the gentle simmer.
Discard the bay leaf Add the heavy cream and let the soup come to a low simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes longer, adjusting the heat to maintain the simmer
In a blender, puree the soup in batches. As each batch is pureed, pour it through a sieve back into the pot or a bowl. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper
Reheat the soup over low heat, stirring often to prevent sticking or scorching. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until it is fully incorporated into the soup.
Make sure the crabmeat is cleaned of all bits of shell In a mixing bowl, gently toss the crabmeat with the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish each serving with the crab mixture.