Stone Soup
(Bisque of Crab, Crayfish or Lobster Shells)

Serves 2 - 3

I call this "Stone Soup" because it's made with whatever shells you collect after a crab, crayfish or lobster feast. It is literally made from nothing -- the empty, outer shells that would otherwise be thrown away. The only tricky part about this soup is having on hand a very, very fine sieve (in French this is called a "chinois"). Don't attempt this soup if you don't have this kind of fine sieve.

After a crab, crayfish or lobster feast, I collect all the empty shells and freeze them in a large plastic bag until I am ready to make Stone Soup. The shells are very perishable (and smelly) so you should freeze them immediately. I would not recommend keeping them frozen for more than 10 days before you make this soup. If using crab, try to reserve the "caviar" - the yellow part of the crab and whatever accumulations you find in the top part of the carapace.

The final consistency of the soup will be surprisingly thick, even though no thickening agent is used. It is satisfying winter fare.

To make the soup:

(This recipe assumes you are using shells from 2 whole medium-size crab or the equivalent amount of crayfish or lobster shells.)

-- dark green tops of green onions
-- clove whole garlic, peeled and crushed
-- feathery tops of bulb fennel
-- diced carrots
-- coarsely chopped onions

Final assembly:

Serving:

Notes:

Beat 1 egg yolk until light and frothy; then gradually add about ½ cup oil olive while continuously beating. Don't over beat.

When the sauce has thickened, add a clove of garlic put through the garlic press, a dash of sea salt and ¼ tsp pimento power (you can also use cayenne or paprika).

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