Creamy bisque is a good substitute for French classic

Quickie Corn and Crab Bisque.
Quickie Corn and Crab Bisque.

Shakespeare’s Juliet most likely said it first — “What’s in a name?” But while such a philosophical discussion may be interesting, I’m talking about what’s in the name of a recipe.

Traditionally, the name of a recipe was the key indicator of its main ingredients or the process by which it was made, especially in French cuisine.

But in today’s world of fusion, quick, and even gastro-science cooking techniques, one can never be sure of the name. Take today’s recipe for Quickie Corn and Crab Bisque. According to its process and ingredients, it’s barely bisque. We’re reaching for seafood stock — easily found in most grocery stores these days — instead of making our own, which is a huge timesaver. In honor of our waistlines, we’re using the corn to thicken the bisque and add a “creamy factor,” instead of real cream, normally a main ingredient of classic bisque.

And we’re not cooking the whole crab, but using canned pasteurized lump crabmeat instead.

Even though this is not the classic French recipe, it is still a worthy, satisfying dinner that’s quick and easy.

Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/​o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or email Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at


Quickie Corn and Crab Bisque

Yield: 6 servings

Start to finish: minimum of 30 minutes; can simmer up to 2 hours.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup celery, coarsely chopped

26 ounces prepared low-sodium seafood stock

3 cups water

4 cups frozen sweet white corn kernels, divided use

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large bay leaf

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon Old Bay or other seafood seasoning mix (see Cook’s Note)

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/​3 pound pasteurized lump crabmeat

Salt to taste

Chopped green onions for serving, if desired

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and celery and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add stock, water, 3 cups corn, garlic, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, thyme, and pepper. Cover and bring to boil. Cook at a high boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Remove bay leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, process until soup is smooth. Stir in remaining corn and crab, and adjust seasoning with additional salt, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve in shallow bowls with green onions for garnish. Leftovers are delicious.

Cook’s Note: Low-sodium Old Bay is available in some areas. Analysis is based on regular Old Bay.

Sodium per serving will largely depend on the sodium content in your stock. Look for the lowest-possible sodium content available and then adjust flavor with additional salt to taste. Analysis is based on a low-sodium seafood stock, and yet each serving is almost 50 percent of your recommended daily allowance.

FYI: A dash of salt — what most people would add at the table (0.4 g) — has 155 mg sodium.

Approximate values per serving: 183 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 29 mg cholesterol, 15 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 1,088 mg sodium.