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Kitchen Scoop: Creamy bisque a good substitute for French classic

By Alicia Ross
Universal Uclick

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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, where the name of a recipe usually identifies cooking technique and ingredients.

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 time-saver. In honor of our waistlines, we’re using the corn to thicken the bisque and add a “creamy factor,” instead of reaching for 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. And that’s good enough for me! I hope you enjoy!

Quickie Corn
and Crab Bisque

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup celery, coarsely chopped

26 oz. prepared low-sodium seafood stock

3 cups water

4 cups frozen sweet white corn kernels, divided use

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 large bay leaf

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. Old Bay or other seafood seasoning mix (see note)

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. ground black pepper

⅓ lb. 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.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving has about 183 calories, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 29 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 1,088 milligrams sodium.

Notes: 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, yet each serving is almost 50 percent of your recommended daily allowance. A dash of salt — what most people would add at the table (0.4 g) — has 155 mg sodium.

Alicia Ross is the co-author of three cookbooks. Contact her c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, email, or visit

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