Today I made one of my favorites for a special treat — classic lobster bisque.
I have a long list of restaurants I whose lobster bisques I adore, but for some reason I had never before tried making it at home. (Somehow lobster tails don’t seem to make it into my budget too often!) But my recent discovery of a bag of frozen chopped lobster meat from Trader Joe’s inspired me to give it a try. And I’m pretty sure now that this soup may make it into “the rotation” (as my friend Christin calls it) of favorites from now on.
Oh my heavens. This soup was wonderful.
It was everything I love about lobster bisque — the warm spiced seafood broth, the thick puree of vegetables and lobster, and of course, the rich cream that pulls it all together. Although making it at home, I enjoyed being able to control the cream a bit more than I suspect they do at most restaurants. (You can adjust the amount of cream to your taste, or even substitute some half and half to make this a bit “lighter”.) Served with a side of rustic bread, this soup was everything I love about comfort food.
Mmmm, I already cannot wait to make this one again.
A simple and delicious recipe for classic lobster bisque.
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup chopped white or yellow onions
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup cognac or brandy (optional)
- 12 oz (or more) chopped lobster meat
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 cup (or more) heavy cream
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper
In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and tomato paste, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onions are cooked and translucent. Sprinkle the mixture with flour, and stir to be sure that it evenly coats the veggies. Saute for 1 minute.
Add the seafood stock, white wine, cognac, lobster meat, paprika, bay leaf, thyme and cayenne, and stir to combine. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.
Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme. Stir in heavy cream, and season if needed with extra salt and pepper.
Then puree the soup using an immersion blender. Or you can transfer the soup in small batches into a traditional blender and blending until smooth. (Always be careful not to fill a blender too full with hot liquids.)