Harissa crab bisque

The dryness of Aldwick's English Bacchus makes it the perfect partner to this creamy crab bisque, lightly spiced with harissa. Fennel, lemon and black pepper counteract the richness and make this a lovely summer starter.

A recipe for Harissa Crab Bisque

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • Butter, for frying
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 800ml fish stock
  • 120g white crab meat (tinned is fine)
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • A generous squeeze of lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pick the fronds off the top of the fennel and set aside to garnish. Dice the carrot, fennel and onion, and finely chop the garlic cloves. Fry gently in a generous scoop of melted butter until the onions are nicely softened.
  2. Add the tomato puree and give it all a good stir, and then add the fish stock, crab meat and saffron. Bring to the boil, then cover, turn the heat right down and leave it to simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, use an immersion blender to thoroughly puree all the ingredients, and then strain the soup to remove all the little bits. Return the strained liquid to the heat, add the harissa, cream and lemon juice, and simmer for a little longer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Finally, add a generous sprinkling of freshly-ground black pepper and a small pinch of salt – too much will overpower the delicate flavours of the soup, so use sparingly. Serve straightaway, topped with the reserved fennel fronds.
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