Lobster Bisque. It’s a soup that seems unattainable in a home kitchen. Generally served at upscale restaurants, it’s not your average cream soup at home. I do like a challenge, and making an easy lobster bisque at home can be just that, easy! Right up front I will tell you this is not one of my typical 30 minute recipes. What I will tell you is that the active prep time is probably only about 15 minutes. Your stove top is going to do all the work. Lobster bisque is also a perfect make-ahead course for your Valentine’s Day dinner, or any special dinner for that matter.
When you have lobster bisque out, it’s most likely created with a long cooking process, where the chef is using the entire lobster. At home that can be daunting. (Cue Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.) I went easy and got lobster tails.
The first thing you want to do is cook the tail meat, for about 8 minutes.
Remove the tails and skim off the protein.
Your mire a poix is going to be celery, carrot, onion and garlic. I used the inner celery stalk to keep things mild, yet flavorful. Save the tender leaves for garnish.
Once you remove the meat from the shells,
you add them along with sherry and tomato paste to the vegetables. Then the reserved cooking water is added and you let it simmer for 30-40 minutes.
squeeze to get all that great broth out!
At this point you can make a roux with flour to thicken the broth, but I opted for cornstarch.
Once it started to have some body I added cream and whisked to blend.
The sherry gives is a really nice flavor, but you need a little herbaceous note. Thyme will work, but I opted for tarragon. A quick note on dry herbs: take note of the color. If your dry herbs are pale and lifeless looking, their flavor power will match. Consider keeping them away from the heat and in a cool dry place. Many people tend to store their herbs right above the oven or stove. Probably not the best location. Look for a cooler spot in your kitchen and rotate things that have gone dull. You might be inclined to buy that big container of oregano when it’s on sale, but unless you use it all the time, it will be useless after a year. Consider getting small containers of your less used herbs and spices. It will cost a little more, but in the long run not as wasteful.
Portion your lobster between the plates, so all is equal in love, and drizzle the warm bisque over.
Garnish with some of the tender inner leaves of the celery and chives.
This soup is sure to bring on the love at your next special dinner party! Make it a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to come together. Click this link to see the recipe for: Easy Lobster Bisque at home.
Happy Valentine’s Day tutti and Buon Appetito!