This Crayfish Soup Recipe is Perfect for a Winter’s Night

Cape crayfish is a sought after delicacy that comes into it’s own with this soup en croûte recipe

Last Update 5 June 2017

"This soup is so exceptional on a winter’s night with some extra fresh bread on the side,” says Roberto de Carvalho, Executive Chef of Azure at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, “The pastry keeps the aroma under wraps until you are ready to break it open and unleash the awesome bouquet of flavours waiting to be enjoyed”.

Roberto’s Crayfish Soup en croûte (serves 12)
Courtesy of Roberto de Carvalho

  • 600g Mirepoix (Diced onion, carrot and celery)
  • 250g butter
  • 7.5l seafood stock
  • 450g long grain rice
  • 4 crayfish (1.5kg)
  • 15g Maldon sea salt
  • 15g freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni (Bunch of herbs tied together – parsley, bay leaf, thyme and any other herbs)
  • 300ml brandy
  • 650ml white wine
  • 900g crème fraîche
  • 5g cayenne pepper
  • 50g fresh fennel (chopped)
  • 600g puff pastry
  • 30g sesame seeds
  • 20g paprika


Cook the rice in 5l of the seafood stock until extremely soft, add a little water if necessary. Use a blender to blend the rice until very smooth, set aside in a pot until needed.

Cook the Mirepoix in the 250gm of butter over low heat until soft. Clean the crayfish and then add to the mirepoix, with salt and pepper. Add a bouquet garni, sauté the crayfish until the shells turn bright red.

Heat the Brandy in a pan, flame and add to the crayfish, stirring well. Add the white wine and reduce by two thirds. Add the rest of the seafood stock and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Remove the crayfish meat from the shells, dice and set aside for the garnish. Pound the shells and add back to the stock and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.

Remove the pot from the heat and strain the shells into the blended rice, discard the shells. Add the crème fraîche and cayenne pepper to the rice mixture and stir over moderate heat until properly mixed and the soup just starts to simmer. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow the soup to cool down thoroughly to room temperature.

Pour the soup into cups. Divide the crayfish meat equally between the cups and place a little into each cup, place the chopped fennel into each cup.

Cut the puff pastry into rounds that fit over the cups. Lightly brush a little egg wash on the edges of each pastry round and place on top of each cup. Seal the sides thoroughly and make sure that each cup is clean.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place into the oven at 185°c until the pastry is golden brown and forms a perfect dome over the soup.

Remove the cup from the oven, sprinkle with a little paprika and serve on an appropriate saucer or side plate.



Azure restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is located on Victoria Road in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more info, call + 27 21 437 9000.


It is winter time which means getting snug in great places - have a look at the winter accomadations around the city this winter season. Check out some of our favourite recipes this winter - with the Mulled Wine recipe to spice up your evenings. 




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