665 Bisque or Coulis d’Ecrevisses

Bisque or Cullis of Crayfish

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Le Guide Culinaire

By Auguste Escoffier

Published 1903

  • About


  • 30 small crayfish, approximately 40 g ( oz) each

For the Mirepoix

  • 50 g (2 oz) carrots
  • 50 g (2 oz) onions
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ½ bayleaf
  • 3 parsley stalks
  • 1 small tbs flamed brandy
  • 2 dl (7 fl oz or U.S. cup) white wine

For the Thickening and Moistening

  • 120–150 g (4–5 oz) rice
  • hires (2⅝ pt or U.S. cups) White Bouillon

For finishing

  • 1 dl ( fl oz or ½ U.S. cup) cream
  • 150 g (5 oz) butter


  • Cut the carrots, onions and parsley stalks into very small dice and cook to a light brown in the butter together with the thyme and bay-leaf. Wash the crayfish, remove the trails then cook the crayfish with the Mirepoix until they turn red.

    Season with 12 g ( oz) salt and a little milled pepper, sprinkle with the brandy and the wine and allow to cook gently to reduce. Add dl (9 fl oz or 1⅛ U.S. cups) White Bouillon and allow to cook gently for 10 minutes.

  • Cook the rice in dl (1⅓ pt or U.S. cups) of the White Bouillon.

  • Shell the crayfish and reserve all the tails and ten of the heads.

  • Finely pound the remainder of the shells, add the rice and its cooking liquid together with the cooking liquid from the crayfish.

Pass through a fine sieve and dilute this purée with 5 dl (18 fl oz or U.S. cups) White Bouillon. Bring to the boil, pass through a fine strainer and keep in the Bain-marie.

Finish the soup before serving with 150 g (5 oz) butter and 1 dl ( fl oz or ½ U.S. cup) cream; correct the seasoning and add a little Cayenne.


Cut the reserved crayfish tails in dice and add to the soup. Serve separately the ten crayfish heads which have been trimmed, cleaned and filled with a fish and cream forcemeat and cooked at the last moment.