Lobster Bisque is a classic official welcoming of French origin. It’s a creamy, smooth and flavorful soup based on a strained broth from lobsters. But you could also use the same method with crabs, shrimps or crayfish. Bisque is actually a method of extracting flavor from crustaceans (hard shelled-sea creatures) by simmering with aromatics to create a deeply flavored stock, then strained out, simmered again and pureed.
Bisque is made using rice as a thickener, you can use heavy cream. Cream is added at the end part of cooking thus resulting in a delicious soup with full essence of lobsters. To add another layer of texture, this soup is topped with a buttery and Creole-seasoned lobster meat.
2 Lobsters, weighing around 3 pounds total
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup medium sherry
2 cups fish stock or clam broth
½ cup long-grain white rice
1 cup heavy cream
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Put the lobster, in the freezer for 1 hour. Bring a pan of water, boil it and add 1tbsp sea salt flakes for each liter of water. After that, add the lobsters and boil for 6 minutes until the black shells turn bright red. Reserve 750ml of the cooking liquid to make the bisque.
After cooling, place one lobster at a time on a chopping board. Twist off the head and the large claws. Remove and discard the feathery soft, claw-like bits from the head. Put the head and claws in a dish in the fridge until ready to eat. Then carefully remove the tail meat in one piece.
For the making of bisque, remove as much meat as you can from the head and discard the grey-greenish fatty substance. The roe is the longer darker strip that is fine to eat, so add this to the stock after shelling the lobsters.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, fennel, thyme and saffron. Fry for around 7 minutes, and then adds the paprika, cayenne and 1tsp freshly ground black pepper and stir it for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, sherry, tomatoes, white wine and the stock. Partly cover the pan, bring to a simmer, and then tip it all into the pan with the reserved lobster cooking water. After that, cut the lobster meat into neat pieces, reserving 4 of the nicest shaped pieces to garnish.
Put the remainder into the pan containing the shells, vegetables and stock. Simmer for 45 minutes. Process the bisque in a blender to break up the pieces of shell and the vegetables. Pass everything through a fine sieve into a clean pan, leaving it to drain through for a few minutes. Mix the double cream with 3tbsp bisque to make it pale pink and spoon it around the lobster tail. Scatter with chives and serve with the toasted sourdough.