The weather has finally leveled off at a brisk high of 40s and 50s and has signaled the official start of soup season. With Christmas Day in Texas reaching a high of 73, it took awhile for the weather to settle into an appropriate winter pattern. Now that we’re here, soups may abound!
While I’m not a huge fan of soups in general, I do love bisques, and the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken and Dumplings, and Thai Noodle Soup. Dipping crusty bread into thick creamy soup, evokes the memory of evenings by the fire spent with good friends. Soup should be comforting. Soup should not make you feel guilty.
I love creamy soups but, no matter how hard I try, I see visions of me scooping up spoonful’s of cream and guzzling them down, and I can feel the calories ticking up. And if calories are ticking up that fast, it better be from a nice juicy steak. I mean come on soup – you don’t even require chewing! These feelings have prompted me to look for ways to keep that rich creamy texture, without adding a cup of heavy cream to my soup. That is where this gem comes in – 2% Evaporated Milk.
Clocking in at 1/2 the calories of heavy cream, it adds the richness of cream to your soup without adding the calories. I’m in love. In a pinch I also use regular 2% milk mixed with a cornstarch slurry to thicken things up.
As I was browsing Pinterest (do you see where all my inspiration comes from?) I found this Crab Bisque Recipe from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles and decided to try it. As usual I made a few modifications based on what was in my pantry, and deliciousness ensued.
Quick Crab Bisque
Original Recipe Here: Crab Bisque
- Serves 4
- Time: 20 minutes
- Calories: 236 per serving
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 c. minced red onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 2 Tbs flour
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 14.5-oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbs cooking sherry, or dry white wine
- 1 can 2% evaporated milk
- 8 oz. fresh or thawed frozen lump crab meat
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a medium stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the red onion and garlic. Sautee until softened about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes (this reduces the acidic or metallic taste that can sometimes occur). Add in the flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Slowly add in the chicken broth, stirring to remove any lumps as you go. Bring to a simmer and add in the fire roasted tomatoes, paprika, sherry, cayenne, and evaporated milk.
- Stir and adjust seasonings as necessary, adding salt and pepper to taste. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until no tomato chunks are left.
- Finish by adding the crab meat and bringing up to heat, about 2 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread, or go old school and enjoy with saltines.