Lobster bisque is one of those dishes that screams “fancy” – but is really very simple (we promise!). The secret, like most good soups, is to start with a flavorful stock.
And the secret to a good lobster bisque stock is right in the shells! Once the meat is cooked you’ll remove it from the shells and return those shells to the pot for the most delicious, flavorful bisque!
This would make an elegant starter or a lovely main course!
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- (3) 6-8 ounce lobster tails (if frozen, thaw overnight)
- 3 bamboo skewers (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 big handful fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- Salt and pepper
Bring water and salt to a boil in a pot large enough to hold the lobster tails in a single layer.
If you like, you can run a bamboo skewer through the length of each tail to keep it from curling. Place the tails, shell side down, into the water. Cover and cook for 6 – 8 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to a cutting board; let sit till cool enough to handle. Pour the cooking liquid into a 2-cup measure; fill with water to reach the 2-cup line if needed. Remove lobster meat from the shells and chop into large chunks. Set to the side along with the shells.
Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits that are at the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, bay leaf, paprika, chicken broth and reserved cooking liquid. Add the reserved shells, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the shells and thyme and discard. Use an immersion blender and blend till smooth. Strain the soup into a large bowl, then return to the pot along with the heavy cream and half and half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook till heated through and divide soup among serving bowls, topping with chopped lobster meat.