Aleister Crowley records a delicious meal in John St. John: The Record of the Magical Retirement of G. H. Frater, O∴ M∴, The Sixth Day, “7.40. Chez Lavenue. Bisque d’Ecrevisses, demi-perdreau à la Gelée, Cèpes Bordelaise, Coupe Jack. ”
- 1/2 pound crayfish, preferably red-legged
- ½ cup cream
- 1 tbs chopped onions
- 2 tbs chopped carrots
- 1 small celery stalk
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tbs Cognac
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Heat water in a kettle.
Sauté the onion, carrot and crayfish with a little olive oil.
Once the crayfish turn red, add the brandy and flambé it, then add the white wine and cover the with the hot water. Add the tomato paste, herbs, salt and pepper and leave to simmer 10 min.
Remove 6 crayfish tails. Pour the remaining mixture in the bowl of a blender and blend it as thinly as possible. A food processor or blender will work for this.
Pour the blended soup through a sieve. Add the cream and stir until well mixed. Keep the bisque warm in a saucepan over low heat.
Serve hot in a soup tureen or soup plates with little garlic croutons. Granish with the crayfish tails and a few sprigs of chervil.
Demi-Perdreau à la Gelée is a dish of partridges served in gelatin. We’ll have a recipe for that soon!