Lobster Bisque

Music: Richie Havens – Just Like a Woman

Happy New Year!

We had to cancel our Sunday Night Dinner this week because James was a bit under the weather.  I had already purchased the ingredients needed for the meal, so I improvised.  We’d acquired two lobster tails and they needed to be cooked.  James loves lobster bisque and not too long ago was so excited to see The Carlyle’s recipe for it in the New York Times.  I figured a little soup could only help him heal.

I used a combination of a few recipes (including The Carlyle’s) and a couple of my own little zings.  This might have been the best thing I’ve ever made.  It was VERY rich and next time I wouldn’t add as much cream. I would substitute it with more fish stock. Also, after the rice has been mixed through a food processor (I used my new immersion blender – woo whoo!) the recipe said to strain it again.  I chose not to because I liked the rice particles in the food…it gave the soup a very nice texture.  We made homemade bread to accompany the meal.

What you’ll need:

2 lobster tails, 1 ¼ cups of water, 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. of salt, 1 small chopped onion, 1 chopped shallot, 2 chunked carrots, 2 bay leaves, 3 springs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of chopped tarragon, 1 tsp. of black peppercorns, ½ tsp. orange zest, 3 cloves chopped garlic, ½ tsp. of shredded ginger, 2 tbsp. of tomato paste, 1/3 cup of brandy, 1/3 cup of cognac, 2 cups of fish stock, 1/2 cup of long grain rice, 2 cups of heavy cream.

  • Fill a large pot with 1¼ cups of water and 1 tsp. of salt. Bring to boil and add lobster tails. Cover and let boil.

  • Lower heat and simmer for 12 minutes (lobster meat will be perfectly tender).

  • While lobster is cooking, chop veggies and measure out herbs.

  • Set aside lobster in a bowl and let cool.  Reserve liquid for later use.
  • Once lobsters are cool, remove meat from shells, chop and put in refrigerator.

  • Chop shells and reserve for later.
  • In the same sauce pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook onions, shallots, carrots, garlic and 1 tsp. of salt for 2 minutes.
  • Add bay leaves, thyme, chopped tarragon, peppercorns, orange zest and ginger to veggies and let cook all together until tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Increase heat to medium high and add lobster shells. Cook for 5 minutes.

  • Add tomato paste and cook for 3 additional minutes.
  • Add Cognac and Brandy and cook off until evaporated…or ignite with long kitchen match (WAY more fun).
  • Add fish stock and lobster cooking liquid (will be about 3 cups of liquid).

  • Cover and bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer stock for 1 hour. (After 30 minutes I added another ½ cup of fish stock because it the stock had significantly cooked off).
  • Strain broth through a strainer and press on the solids to get every little bit of juice out that you can. You can discard shells and veggies.
  • Wipe pot clean and pour broth back into pot.
  • Add rice and cook for 30-40 minutes until rice is VERY soft.

  • Use food processor or immersion blender to make soup smooth (at this point you could strain the soup again if you like it without the rice texture).
  • Add cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Add lobster meat and plate. Garnish with chives.



Filed under Fish, Recipes, Soup

2 responses to “Lobster Bisque

  1. Carol

    Hi Jess and James,
    I’ll be making this for Peter’s birthday this Thursday. He loves lobster bisque and this is the best recipe I’ve read. I like how you used the rice. I’ll be reading your decade in review to pretend I’m traveling along with you.
    Keep posting. I’m enjoying your entries very much! How lucky am I to be part of the family with such great cooks. Love, Aunt Carol

    • Oh good! As a meal this fed the two of us perfectly. As an appetizer, because its so rich, it would easily feed four – so if the boys are coming over you should be fine. Otherwise, if you are going to serve it for dinner, I’d double the recipe. Please let me know how it turns out! Love you.

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