It’s cold and damp and I’ve had a crappy week. There, I said it. We all have them and this week was mine. But I’m over it - because I did two things: I called my friends over for a pot luck, and I made this soup. Both made me feel a lot better.
It’s super simple, very quick, and really satisfying.
I’ve had a number of seafood bisques recently (Tommy Clayton’s is wonderful), and I thought I’d play around with my own recipe.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk or half-and-half
1 tablespoon OLD BAY® Seasoning
Handful of fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound backfin crabmeat
3 tablespoons (or more. Yes, more. Always go with more.) brandy
Salt & pepper
Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan on medium heat.
Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened.
Add flour, Old Bay and dill; whisk until well blended.
Whisking constantly, gradually add milk. Bring just to a boil.
Stir in crabmeat and mustard. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Check the bottom of the pan carefully, because milk burns on the bottom of a pan quickly, before you notice it on the top.
Stir in brandy. Taste to see if it needs salt or pepper.
Heat 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay or chopped chives if desired.
Resist the temptation to use heavy cream in this recipe - it’s thick and rich enough. You could use cheaper crabmeat, but is there anything better than getting a nice warm lump of crab in a spoonful of bisque?
It’s clearly hard to pair a wine with a bunch of different dishes at a pot luck. But if we’re strictly pairing with the soup, you’ll want something a bit citrus-y like a Sauvignon Blanc, a Sancere, or even an Albarino.
On a bad day, vodka.
So then, the secret to getting over a crabby week? Pop a few bottles with your friends, laugh with them, love them, and listen to their advice. Thank them. Share food. Write about it.
Thank you, friends.