New Orleans Style Crab Bisque

Cooking Spray
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper chopped
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
4 cups clam juice
2 cups fat free half and half
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or 1 tablespoon butter

Spray a large stock pot or Dutch oven with cooking spray and preheat on medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, peppers and garlic and sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add Cajun or Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper and bay leaf to vegetable mixture.

Stir flour into seasoned vegetables a small amount at a time, adding up to 1/2 cup clam juice to achieve a workable consistency. (Without enough liquid, the flour mixture becomes difficult to blend with the vegetables.)

Stir in remainder of clam juice and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes until mixture has thickened, stirring frequently to keep mixture from sticking to bottom of pan.

Stir in fat free half and half and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in crab meat and sherry and continue to cook 5 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through.

Remove from heat and stir in olive oil or butter. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Yield 10 1-cup servings each at approximately 177 calories; 2.2 grams total fat; 0.3 gram saturated fat; 35 milligrams cholesterol; 24.2 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams protein and 700 milligrams sodium.

Traditional recipes compare to 377 calories and 27 grams fat per 1 cup serving

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