Asparagus, Crab & Tarragon Bisque Shanachie

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by Gandalf The White

This was a demonstration recipe at Charlotte Anne Albertson's Cooking School (Wynnewood, PA), for "Awesome Soups with Brian Duffy" (Jan 24, 2006). Brian Duffy ( hosted the Food Network shows "Date Plate" and "Hot Trends 2005" and is executive chef at Shanachie, an Irish restaurant in Ambler, PA. Shanachie specializes in soups ... and this is one of their most frequently requested seafood soups, especially in the spring, when fresh asparagus is available. Crab claw meat is less expensive and more flavorful than lump crab meat and so is the ingredient of choice. Recipe will make 3/4 gallon, approximately 12 8 oz servings.

Top Review by Mia in Germany

Excellent recipe, I've never tried the combination of seafood and asparagus before. Made half of the recipe exactly as suggested, the other half with gluten free flour, thick coconut milk instead of heavy cream and ghee instead of butter. For both I used crab claw meat, and both turned out exceptionally tasty. Thanks for posting, I'll make this again!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Slice the asparagus tips (about 1- 1 1/2 inches) off the spears and reserve. Slice the asparagus spears into thin slices.
  2. In a large soup pot, combine all the ingredients except the crab and the asparagus. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then let the vegetables soften and the flavors meld for about 10 minutes. DO NOT allow the liquid to boil at this time.
  4. Make the roux: add the butter to a sautee pan under medium heat; when the butter has melted, add the flour, mix until the flour has cooked but retains a light color (about 5-7 minutes).
  5. NOTE: any extra roux can be frozen and used at a later time.
  6. Puree the liquid and vegetables, preferably using an immersion blender. If you must use a stand blender (or food processor), put in small batches (no more than 1/3-1/2 the volume of the blender container), so you don't send hot liquid all around and burn yourself.
  7. Strain through a chinois (china cap) or through cheesecloth.
  8. Return the liquid to the soup pot, bring to a boil, and thicken with the roux. Turn the heat down so the liquid simmers but does not boil. Adjust seasonging (salt and pepper) as needed.
  9. Add the crab and heat for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Add the asparagus slices (but NOT the tips) to the soup, allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning (salt and pepper) as needed.
  11. Plate into individual soup bowls, garnish with asparagus tips. Serve hot.

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