Remember last week when I asked you to save your lobster shells because I was going to give you a lobster bisque recipe? Well here it is! I’ll be honest with you guys — this isn’t really a simple or quick recipe, but the results are rich, creamy, delicious and absolutely worth it. Make this on a Sunday afternoon and have an indulgent weekend dinner with your hunny or have this ready for the dinner party guests you really want to impress.
Now, most lobster bisque recipes start with a couple of whole lobsters that you cook, break down and then use for stock, but since I have gotten into the habit of saving my uncooked lobster shells in the freezer, I just use those. As an added bonus, it happens to be much more economical method.
However if you don’t have 6-10 lobster tail shells saved up don’t worry about it —you can use the traditional whole lobster method. What you would do is partially cook your whole lobster — just enough to make sure its not still moving — and then remove the tail and claw meat to be used later. Then use those shells and the body of the lobster for the stock. If you use the whole lobster make sure you include the roe (the bright orange pouch in the cavity) and the tomalley (the grey-ish/green paste in the cavity) since they are both packed with flavor.
- The left over shells from 6-10 lobster tails*
- ½ onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic, crushed or cut in half
- 2 stalks of fresh thyme
- 2 stalks of fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups of dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons of sherry
- 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- ¼ cup of flour
- 8 cups of water
- salt to taste
- olive oil
- lobster meat for garnish
- In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté the carrot and onion in a generous amount of olive oil for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the lobster shells to the pot, pressing them down with a wooden spoon to break them apart a bit. Allow the shells to sauté with the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine and allow it to cook for about 7 minutes over medium-high heat. Add 8 cups of water, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf, peppercorns and a couple of pinches of salt and allow the mixture to cook over medium heat for 45 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Discard the shells and vegetables and set the broth aside.
- In the pot (cleaned), melt the butter over medium heat then sprinkle the flour over it and stir for about 2 minutes until it becomes a light golden-brown colored paste. Whisk in 2 cups of the reserved broth, the tomato paste and the paprika until the mixture is smooth. Next, whisk in the remaining broth.** Allow the mixture to cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in cream and sherry. Season with salt to taste and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve garnished with lobster meat.
** If at this point the soup looks too thick, you can whisk in a ¼ cup of water at a time until it is at your desired consistency.