SPICY CRAB BISQUE
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, quartered
2 small dried red chiles (bird's eye), stemmed and seeded
1 carrot, quartered
2 pounds trimmings from nonoily fish (monkfish, halibut or snapper)
3 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
3 quarts water
1 cup dry white wine
1 live Dungeness crab, about 2 1/2 pounds
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, when hot add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, add the onion, chiles, carrot and fish trimmings and cook, stirring, until the fish has turned opaque. Add the parsley, bay, thyme, peppercorns, water and wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, loosely covered, for 30 minutes.
Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, add the live crab, cover, and cook for 18 minutes, then remove the crab and let cool. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables and reserving the liquid.
Rinse the crab and crack it, remove all the meat, finely shred 1/4 of the crab meat and set aside. Leave the rest in pieces and set aside.
Take the softest pieces of shell, such as that from the legs, grind them (mortar and pestle, food processor) and return to the reserved broth, along with the rest of the shells. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the broth has reduced to about 6 1/2 cups (15 to 20 minutes). Strain the broth through a chinois and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a soup pot over medium heat, when it foams, remove from heat and whisk in the flour to make a roux, return to the heat and stir until the roux is slightly golden. Very slowly and whisking constantly, pour in the hot broth, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the soup is thick and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Bring to just below a boil, then stir in 1/4th of the reserved crabmeat and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Heap the remaining crabmeat into the center of warm soup bowls. Ladle the soup around the mounds. Serves 6