One of my favorite things to devour is lobster bisque. When I visited Newport, Rhode Island last summer I made sure to taste the lobster bisque in almost every restaurant I dined at. Which one wasn’t creamy enough, whose didn’t have enough lobster chunks, etc? By the end of my trip I ate so much bisque it all became a blur of what tasted the best. Staten Island is not known for their seafood, the restaurants are notorious for their Italian food. Now with the summer months here maybe more restaurants will have lobster bisque on their menus. Marina Café’s Tiki Bar has lobster bisque and it is good! Since this is a dish I am infatuated with I need to master this dish. I like creamy and chunky lobster bisque. Now that I’ve made this once I know what to change the next time – add more and more and more cream. The recipe says ½ a cup but I think next time I am going to do at least a cup and a half, maybe two cups.
If you are going to use frozen lobster make sure it is completely thawed out before steaming them. The lobster bisque recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes. Do not use canned tomatoes when it is so easy to chop fresh tomatoes. Do not be lazy. Boil hot water and drop the tomato in the boiling water (no more than two or three at a time) for 45 seconds. Then immediately place the tomato in an ice bath for ten seconds to shock the tomato. The skin will fall off and all you have to do is squeeze the tomato to get the seeds out. Seeds in the tomato will give it a bitter taste. When cooking with wine use the good stuff. The heat burns out the alcohol so you’re left with the flavor of the wine so use something you like. Do not use cooking wine!
If you have an immersion blender you’ll need it. I do not have an immersion blender so I used a regular one. When pureeing hot liquids be cautious. Also make sure not to overfill the blender because it will explode, it happened to me and soup was EVERYWHERE! I also added some lobster to what I was pureeing.
Note: The recipe below makes about 6 cups
2 lobster tails, split in half
4 cups water
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of dry white wine (do not use cooking wine. Use the good stuff)
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cup unsalted butter plus 1 Tablespoon
½ cup celery, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
14 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used one cup of freshly diced tomatoes. NEVER USE STUFF FROM THE CAN. IT IS VILE)
2 Tablespoons brandy
2 Tablespoons raw white rice (I used one tablespoon of brown rice)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I used two tablespoons)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
1/2 cup heavy cream (I suggest to use much more if you want a creamy soup)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
First make sure that your lobster tails are completely thawed if you purchased frozen. Cut each tail in half with scissors. Devein the split tail if there is a vein. Steam the lobster tails, shell-side down in 4 cups salted water. Only use ½ tablespoon. I steamed my lobster in a steaming basket for 7 minutes. Reserve the water for the stock.
Once the lobsters are cooled remove the meat from the shell. Refrigerate the lobster meat until ready to serve. Sauté the lobster shells in 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat for five minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, chicken stock and reserved lobster water from the steaming of the tails. Simmer for 45 minutes. Strain out the shells and discard them.
While the stock is simmering chop the celery and shallots and sauté in ¼ cup butter until fragrant.
Add the celery, shallots, diced tomatoes, brandy, raw white rice, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf and thyme sprig to the soup. Simmer and additional 45 minutes and remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Remove from heat and blend the soup using either a blender or an immersion blender. I personally like to use my immersion blender for soups. Stir in heavy cream and fresh lemon juice.
You can make this portion of the soup earlier in the day and reheat it when you are ready to serve it. At the last minute, sauté the lobster meat in a tablespoon of butter until warm. Place the lobster tail in a soup bowl and add a couple ladles full of soup.