This creamy Lobster Bisque is made with loads of fresh lobster meat and is easier to make than you might think. Perfect for a special meal!
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I had the most lovely weekend.
I dined out both Friday and Saturday nights, enjoyed some cocktails and made a fantastic new friend in the process. My parents came over for the Packer game on Sunday afternoon and I prepared a feast for us: prime rib, cheesy au gratin potatoes and my carrot soufflé. Kicked up my Nutella Mousse a notch, too, layering it with fresh raspberries for a more upscale but still very easy dessert.
This is the first time I haven’t had to purchase a bunch of herbs when making dinner – especially a dinner of that size. You remember my rave reviews of my new AeroGarden? All of the herbs I needed are now right in my kitchen, even during these cold months. No more paying for a bunch of chives when all I need is a few tablespoons – saves the waste and I keep more cash in my pocket. My AeroGarden really came in handy when I made a batch of my cilantro-jalapeño pesto earlier this week, too. I didn’t even have to run to the store as I just happened to have jalapeños already and the cilantro – an herb that I have never had success growing on my own, even outdoors – just needed to be cut!
When my parents were over yesterday they were, as usual, commenting on my AeroGarden and how neat it is that every time they’re here my herbs have grown so much! My parents spend a lot of time tending their gardens and they’ve mentioned a few times how fun it is to see some green even through the winter. And I’ll tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell them if you see them (my parents don’t have internet so there’s no chance they’ll read this): I’m buying them an AeroGarden UltraLED for Christmas!! I’m so excited because I know it’s a gift they’ll really love and use. My friend Kimberly picked it up for me when she was at Costco last week. She bought one for herself, too, after seeing mine when she was over for lunch one day. I’m toying with picking up two of the smaller units to give to each of my girls for Christmas, too – what a fantastic gift for them since they can choose what they want to grow (even flowers) and they can easily manage to grow it all themselves.
The recipe I’m sharing today is for a fantastic Lobster Bisque. This lobster bisque has always met with rave reviews from all who have tried it. It’s a perfect starter for a Christmas meal or brunch. It’s definitely on the expensive side in terms of soup but because it’s something special I find it’s worth it. There are large chunks of lobster meat that contrast well with the rich, creamy bisque. Using the shells for the stock is key, you’ll achieve a much deeper flavor plus it’s an easy step. Although the chives the recipe calls for is considered a garnish, don’t skip them as they add just the right flavor, not to mention the bright green color really makes the dish pop.
If you’ve never made Lobster Bisque before, don’t be intimidated. The hardest part is removing the meat from the tail but once you do one or two you’ll be an old pro. I just cut through the underside of the tail, pull it apart and the meat slips right out. Lighting the brandy can be daunting if you haven’t done it before; be sure to use a lighter made with a long handle so you don’t burn your hand. The rest of the ingredients and techniques are common and most of your time will be spent impatiently watching the soup simmer while your stomach rumbles!
Lobster Bisque with Old Bay Oyster Crackers
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds uncooked lobster tails meat removed and chopped (reserve the shells)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 stalks celery coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots coarsely chopped
- 2 leeks white and light green parts only
- 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup brandy
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chopped fresh chives for garnish
- Old Bay Oyster Crackers
- Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add reserved lobster shells, celery, carrots, leeks, lemon thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste, stirring to incorporate tomato paste well. Continue to cook about another 10 minutes until lobster shells are bright red and the vegetables are starting to soften.
- Turn off the heat and add the brandy. Ignite the brandy with a long kitchen lighter or match and allow burn until the flame subsides (don’t stir during this process). Turn the heat back on low then sprinkle the flour over vegetable mixture in pot, stirring frequently for two minutes. Add some water to the pot, just enough to cover the vegetables in the pot (be careful not to add too much), then add the cream. Bring mixture just to a soft boil then immediately reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, uncovered, for an hour to allow the soup to reduce and for flavors to meld. Strain the soup (a high-quality chinois works best), discarding the solids and returning the soup to the pot. Season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Return the bisque to a simmer. Add the chopped lobster meat and cook for 4-5 minutes until meat is cooked through (time depends on how big your lobster pieces are). Warm your soup bowls (I just use my microwave for this), ladle in your soup and garnish with chives and oyster crackers seasoned with Old Bay. Serve immediately.