I make soup all the time because it’s an easy way to have healthy meals for a few days. Sometimes I make it on the stove, but a lot of the time I use my slow cooker. I love that thing! It’s not at all unusual for me to make some type of vegetable, ham, or chicken soup. I’ll occasionally use beef, and rarely seafood. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just a bit pricey. Well, today I am indulging in two types of seafood with this Slow-Cooker Shrimp & Crab Bisque. Let’s find out if it’s a Pinterest success!
OK, so I know it sounds kind of weird to top a hot, rich, creamy soup with a cold crab salad, but this is one of those weird things that you’re just going to have to trust me on. It works, people. It just does.
This recipe has a long list of ingredients, but I didn’t let that stop me. A quick look through my pantry, and I found I had a few of the staples like olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and mayonnaise.
I even had the tomato paste, a small bottle of dry white wine, and some peeled and deveined frozen shrimp. Score! This recipe does call for uncooked shrimp, but I did fine with cooked. Really, the final 15 minutes just warmed them through.
That left me with a long grocery list, but I found everything at my usual grocery store. They didn’t have Old Bay brand seasoning, but they did have another brand that tastes similar.
I was expecting to have trouble finding seafood stock, but they had that too. The only other might-be-hard-to-find ingredient was the crab, and they had that too. An 8-ounce tub of crab meat was $24.99. It was huge chunks of crab, but it was barely enough for this recipe. I would say it was more like 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups instead of 2.
There was a little bit of prep work to be done before the bisque made it to the slow cooker, but it wasn’t bad. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 16 minutes to prep
- 2 hours 16 minutes to cook
- 2 hours 32 minutes total
The bulk of the work for this recipe involved the leeks. They can hold a lot of dirt and sand, so it’s important to wash them thoroughly. To do that, trim off the roots and thick green leaves. Then thinly slice the white part and place the slices in a large bowl of clean cold water. Gently swirl them around with your hand then let them sit while you finish the prep work.
The dirt that collects inside the layers will settle to the bottom of the bowl, leaving the clean leek slices at the top. Remove them with your hands or a large slotted spoon, trying not to disturb the settled dirt. I like to place them into a colander and give them a final rinse before I use them—leeks can be pretty dirty.
After that, the rest is cake. Just sautee the leeks and garlic with some seasonings, then place them into your slow cooker. Add everything but the shrimp, crab, cream, and parsley, and cook for 2-4 hours (I chose the 2-hour option).
I placed the shrimp into a bowl of cold water to thaw while the bisque cooked. It took about 30 minutes, and I removed the tails too. Oh, I also took 3 minutes to mix up the crab salad topping (ridiculously easy).
After 2 hours, all I had to do was add the rest of the bisque ingredients, stir, and set a timer for 15 minutes, and anticipate eating the yummy-smelling bisque.