september 11, 2009

A yummy lobster bisque.

Lobster Bisque

2 lbs whole lobster
2 shallots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme (one sprig de-stemmed, reserved for garnish)
5 peppercorns
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
white wine (chardonnay)
1/2 cup cognac
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
olive oil

Steam the lobsters for about 15 minutes or until almost cooked. Strain and reserve cooking liquid. Split and clean lobsters. Remove all meat, setting aside large pieces of shell. Roughly chop all non-tail meat.

Sauté shells in a large pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add half cup of white wine and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Discard shells. Add butter and garlic, sauté for one minute. Add shallots, celery, peppercorns, and carrots. After a few minutes, add cognac and cook another two minutes. Stir in tomato paste until incorporated. Add water, 1.5 cups of reserved liquid, bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, paprika, and cayenne. Cover pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove thyme stems, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add salt, pepper, and more cognac to taste. Remove pot from heat and blend soup (it can also be strained for a richer lobster flavor). Return pot to heat, add heavy cream and chopped lobster. Warm soup. Check and adjust taste as needed.

Place one lobster tail in each warmed bowl and ladle in soup. Garnish with thyme and olive oil. Serve immediately.

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