It's Soup Season!Jan 17, 2024 12:02PM ● By Lauren Pope
In South Louisiana, Soup Season is Bisque season!
What is a bisque?
A bisque is a type of soup that is usually made with shellfish. The word “bisque” comes from the French word for “crust” or “shell.” Bisques are usually thick and creamy, and they can be either smooth or chunky. A bisque is traditionally made from crustaceans like lobster, crab or crawfish. It should include a stock made from the shells, a large amount of cream, and a thickening agent made from either finely-ground shells or rice.
Crawfish bisque is a real Louisiana tradition and whipping it up is no joke. It's usually a family affair and a real labor of love since it’s such a time-consuming process. Which is one of the reasons why huge batches are made at one time and frozen for later. What makes a Louisiana bisque stand out is that instead of the usual rice thickening trick, our bisques are thickened with roux. When it's time to eat, we pour it over rice, treating it almost like a gravy. That's the Louisiana way!
Danya Doiron shared her grandfather Mr. Lionel Samson's recipe with us and we can't wait to make it ourselves.
PawPaw Lionel’s Crawfish Bisque
Put Crawfish tails (1 pack at a time) in a food processor with a handful of white and green onions. Blend well. We usually do 3-5 packs depending on how many heads we have. Put all of the blended goodness in a large bowl. Knead in 1-2 eggs (1 egg for 3 packs or 2 eggs for 5 packs of crawfish) Add regular bread crumbs to the crawfish and egg mixture, until stuffing is not soaking wet and easy to work into the crawfish heads. Stuff heads and if you have any leftover stuffing you can make balls out of the extra. Roll in seasoned flour (garlic powder, Tony’s, pepper and salt to taste) In a large cast iron pot heat canola oil, then drop in stuffed crawfish heads and balls. This will take several times to brown all of the heads and balls. Put on a tray with lots of paper towels after browning. I pour all of the grease out after frying and wipe out the cast iron pot. Start roux and brown to a medium caramel color. Not a dark roux. Add diced white onions, green onions, and caramelize in the roux then add garlic right before adding a half pot of water or chicken broth to the roux. Season your gravy as you normally would to your taste. Add 2-3 caps of liquid Louisiana crawfish/crab boil seasoning to the gravy. Stir regularly and cook down on medium/low heat for 1 hour. Add in heads and balls and continue cooking for another hour on low while stirring frequently. You may need to add more water or chicken broth to thin gravy out to your liking. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Recipe and photos Courtesy of Danya Doiron
Recently, Zachary Travel’s New Orleans Wicked group enjoyed a private cooking demonstration with the New Orleans School of Cooking after seeing the show.
Recipe and Photos Courtesy of Sara Horn, Zachary Travel
New Orleans School of Cooking Corn and Crab Bisque
2 C. Stock
Joe’s Stuff Seasoning, to taste (or your favorite Cajun seasoning blend)
12 oz. whole corn with liquid or ½ lb. frozen corn
¼ C. Flour
¼ C. Butter (½ stick)
2 C. heavy cream
¼ lb crab meat (claw)
½ C. sliced green onions
Crab boil, to taste
In a large pot, place stock, spices, and ½ of the corn. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 10-12 min.
Make a blonde roux with equal parts of butter and flour. Add roux to your simmering pot.
Pour in cream then stir in the remaining corn and remaining crabmeat. Simmer for another 5 min.
Add in half of your green onions.
Makes 2-4 servings.
Notes: Use the other half of your green onions and parsley for garnish.