Lobster Bisque Recipe (Medium Difficulty)

Classic lobster bisque recipe
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  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings

There's an easy way and a hard way to make lobster bisque. 

The hard way isn't so much hard in the sense of difficult, as it is time-consuming. You start off with a live lobster, and things get even more interesting from there. 

You can read more about the technique, but the main thing to understand about it is that there's a ton of flavor in the lobster shells, and so in order to infuse your bisque with the most intense, rich lobster flavor, you have to use the shells, and it involves a number of steps.

You can also make a bisque the easy way, which is to make a basic béchamel and maybe puree it with some cooked lobster meat and season it up and serve it garnished with lumps of lobster meat and chopped herbs.

There's also a medium way. The Goldilocks way, if you will. With this method, you can use fresh or frozen lobster meat, and the base of the soup will be a velouté, which is a type of sauce made by thickening stock with roux. If you can get your hands on lobster stock, great — fish markets and specialty food stores some times have them in the frozen section — but you can use store-bought fish stock, which is pretty widely available these days, or even vegetable stock.

I'd avoid using chicken stock, because I don't think those flavors go together — chicken and lobster. And while I love surf and turf, I think beef stock would make the bisque too dark.

What You'll Need

  • 100 grams lobster meat (cooked; equivalent to the meat of an average lobster)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 quart lobster stock (or fish or vegetable stock)
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt to taste (kosher)
  • white pepper to taste
  • Garnish: chopped fresh herbs

How to Make It

  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter, and sauté the carrots and onions until soft. Stir in the flour to form a roux, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in a while. Stir in the brandy, then the stock and the bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and strain directly into a blender. Add the tomato paste and half the lobster meat and purée until smooth. 
  3. Return the puréed soup to pot and add more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Stir in the rest of the lobster and gently heat to a simmer until the meat is heated through. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper, ladle into handled bowls, garnish with chopped fresh herbs, and serve.