Although this is not a typical traditional holiday recipe, it has become a Christmas day buffet favorite in our family. Several years ago, we decided to forgo our traditional big sit-down dinner for a buffet because of everyone's increasingly different visiting/family obligations on that day. Everyone could eat whenever or if they chose to. I'd had this soup, which I loved, at several different restaurants over time. Through trial and error, I came up with my own recipe, which has been a hit. I serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr
additional:
20 mins
total:
1 hr 40 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Set the oven to broil, and preheat for 5 minutes.

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  • Place the red bell pepper quarters skin-side up on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Broil until the skins have blackened, then place them in a brown paper bag, or in a covered bowl and allow them to steam for approximately 10 minutes to loosen the skins.

  • Once the skins have loosened, peel them off and discard. Coarsely chop the peeled, roasted peppers, and place into a large saucepan along with the chicken broth and chopped potato. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the half-and-half, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes.

  • Once the potatoes have softened, puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into another saucepan and stir in the crab. Heat over medium heat to warm through, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

352 calories; protein 23.7g 47% DV; carbohydrates 19.5g 6% DV; fat 19.8g 31% DV; cholesterol 120.5mg 40% DV; sodium 1458.2mg 58% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (59)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/13/2008
Loved this recipe! I changed a couple of things used fresh basil instead of dried added chopped onion and garlic spooned in tomato paste to kick up the color and add a little thickener bought canned roasted red peppers (way easier) and added a splash of sherry in the bowl before spooning in the soup. Superb! Read More
(41)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/07/2010
This is an okay average tasting soup that on its face might be worthy of three stars. However when you consider the effort involved (I not only roasted the peppers but made my own chicken broth as well) and the expense (crab meat is not cheap particularly the jumbo lump crab I used) hubs and I both agree this is a mediocre soup boring bland and uninspired. Sherry might have been a nice addition as well as maybe starting this off by sauteeing the "holy trinity" of carrots onions and celery. Fish stock or clam juice could be used as well and would have complemented the crab. It definitely needs more depth and rounded out flavors. As is it basically tasted no more than what it was - pureed roasted peppers and half and half with some crab meat thrown in at the end. Read More
(17)
75 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 52
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/13/2008
Loved this recipe! I changed a couple of things used fresh basil instead of dried added chopped onion and garlic spooned in tomato paste to kick up the color and add a little thickener bought canned roasted red peppers (way easier) and added a splash of sherry in the bowl before spooning in the soup. Superb! Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2008
I LOVE this soup! I like a little more texture so I added sauteed onion and celery and left about 2 1/2 peppers unblended. I skipped the 1/2 & 1/2 and topped this with whipped cream and chopped flat-leaf. Soooo good. I can't wait for crab to be in season so I can use big chunks of Dungeness instead of the flake white crab meat (which was lovely but not the same...). Thanks for the recipe - a definite keeper! Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2008
I made this recipe for a mid-winter dinner party. It was exceptional! I prepared the soup (everything except the crab) the day before. Peeling the red peppers was easy enough but it was still quite tedious and took about 40 minutes to do. I found that the places where the skin was blackened peeled very easily; the places where the pepper pieces didn't lie flat did not blacken and so did not peel as easily. I used only 1/2 tsp salt deciding to let the guests add more if they wished. I used the full 1/4 tsp of cayenne knowing that our friends don't mind spicyness. When I tasted it it was quite spicy but not overly. I refrigerated the soup overnight. I added the crab when starting to reheat the soup about 30 minutes prior to serving. The cayenne had mellowed overnight. The soup's flavour was absolutely lovely. It was worth all the effort. Thanks. Read More
(30)
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Rating: 2 stars
01/07/2010
This is an okay average tasting soup that on its face might be worthy of three stars. However when you consider the effort involved (I not only roasted the peppers but made my own chicken broth as well) and the expense (crab meat is not cheap particularly the jumbo lump crab I used) hubs and I both agree this is a mediocre soup boring bland and uninspired. Sherry might have been a nice addition as well as maybe starting this off by sauteeing the "holy trinity" of carrots onions and celery. Fish stock or clam juice could be used as well and would have complemented the crab. It definitely needs more depth and rounded out flavors. As is it basically tasted no more than what it was - pureed roasted peppers and half and half with some crab meat thrown in at the end. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2006
This is a good substitute for the lobster bisque I crave from my favorite restaurant. I used imitation lobster since I didn't have any real crab or other seafood in my house and I was looking for a good dish to warm up for dinner after class tomorrow. I also used evaported skim milk instead of the cream and it was just as good (much less fat). Very tasty! Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2009
excellent-- used fresh garlic and basil and-whipping cream also added a few shrimp Read More
(10)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/24/2006
Very good soup. This method of roasting the red peppers is so much easier/quicker than doing them whole. I will use this method from now on. I used 3 cans of evaporated milk in lieu of the half-n-half. It's a very rich soup and with the cost of crab a very expensive soup so I won't be making it often but it's a great recipe to file under "dinner party". Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/23/2008
I used fresh garlic and basil but otherwise followed the recipe...It's even better the next day! Just the right amount of heat. I think I'll try it without the crab for a soup and sandwich night... Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
10/24/2006
This was wonderful! My husband was skeptical when I first told him I was going to make it but he loved it so much that he told me he would never doubt my judegment again. I think next time I'm going to try it with bacon instead of crab since I'm not too crazy about crab. The presentation is beautiful especially with a little parsley on top and I can't wait to make it for my next dinner party. Thanks so much for the recipe! Read More
(6)