Recipe and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses
This recipe is based on one that I originally had in Halifax, NS, at Cafe Chianti, in 2008, while in town for a conference. I happened to be there the first night and tried the lobster bisque, which took me back to the restaurant twice more during my 4 day stay.
It’s been a long time since I was there, so not sure if this is quite as good as the original, but it’s satisfying to me and regularly complimented.
I normally make this recipe with lobster, as per the original, but on the day that photos were shot, I was using crayfish, hence “crawdads” in the title.
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 Spanish Onion diced
- 1 small bulb fennel chopped
- 1 Cubanelle Pepper diced
- 1 Sheppard Pepper diced
- 4 roma tomatoes diced
- 4 cloves Garlic peeled and minced
- 4-6 oz crayfish shells removed, flesh chopped and reserved (or 2 4lobster tails)
- 4 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 oz pernod or sambucca
- 2 oz heavy cream or crème fraiche
- Melt butter in small stockpot
- Saute onions until they are golden
- Add fennel, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers and cook until they are soft
- Add shells and cook until they are orange
- Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes
- Put into a blender and pulse until the shells are broken, then blend for 3 – 5 minutes until the shells are pulverized.
- Strain through a sieve and heat to simmering
- Add the reserved chopped crayfish or lobster flesh and cook for 3 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the pernod (or other licorice liqueur)
- Serve with a splash of cream