Lobster Bisque

Serves | 4 to 6 |

  • 4 lobster tails, 8 oz each*
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry sherry (substitute white wine or brandy)
  • 2 cups seafood stock
  • 2 Tbsp uncooked white rice
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation | Using kitchen shears, cut shell on underside of each lobster tail down to tail fin. Repeat along opposite side of tail. Place on a cutting board, underside down, and cut lengthwise, following the line created by the scissors. Turn tail flesh side up and cut into smaller pieces, using the breaks in the shell as a guide. Rinse each piece under cold water and remove any veins. Set on paper towels to dry.

In large pot over high heat, cook oil and butter until butter melts and starts to brown. Add lobster tails and cook until shells begin to turn bright red. Add leeks through orange zest, and stir to combine. Cook until vegetables are soft and aromatic. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sherry and scrape any bits from bottom of pot. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, continuing to scrape up bits. Add stock and rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Stir in 3 cups cream and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove thyme and bay leaf. Purée soup with an immersion or upright blender. Strain back into pot with a fine mesh strainer or chinois (or substitute cheesecloth). Use a wooden spoon to press solids, releasing as much liquid as possible.

Place remaining cream in a small sauce pot, bring to a simmer and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and cook to thicken, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired. Suggested garnishes include chopped chives, toasted baguette, drops of truffle oil or pieces of cooked lobster.

*Fresh lobster tails are best, but if unavailable, substitute frozen tails. Thaw completely before using.