Dungeness crab bisque

Cioppino was developed in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach section of San Francisco. Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish. Originally it was made on fishing boats at sea by combining various leftovers of the day’s catch.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 12 ounces Dungeness crab meat


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bell peppers, 3/4 cup green onions, celery, carrots and red onion and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in tarragon and cayenne. Mix in tomatoes with juices, clam juice and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Add cream and simmer 20 minutes longer. If a more creamy consistence is desired, puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Stir in crabmeat. Cook until crab is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped green onions and serve.

Adapted from a recipe from Epicurious.com

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