Classic Maine Lobster Bisque
Bisque has its origin in French cuisine, and was traditionally a sumptuous purée of small game birds or shellfish thickened with heavy cream. This recipe calls for the use of 'rich' Maine lobster stock*, fresh vegetables and round white potatoes to create a lighter and elegant version of this special-occasion soup.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 pieces)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped fennel
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes and juice
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
4 to 5 cups "rich" Maine lobster stock*
2 medium peeled and cubed white potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
To taste, sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8-ounces cooked Maine lobster meat, finely chopped
To taste, Brandy or sherry, about 8 tablespoons
- In a heavy, large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and fennel. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the plum tomatoes and juice and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the white wine, chicken stock, bay leaves, dried thyme, saffron and rich Maine lobster stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes.
- Add the cubed potato and cook until the potato is soft. Remove the bay leaves and let the soup cool for about 10 minutes.
- Working in small batches, purée the mixture using a blender or food processor. Strain the soup through a sieve, removing the larger particles and discarding them. The soup should be silky smooth.
- Taste the bisque and correct the seasonings with sea salt, fresh pepper, and if needed, concentrated lobster base. The bisque will be salmon in color and should have a rich, lobster flavor. Store the bisque in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, slowly reheat the soup to a gentle simmer.
- Stir in the heavy cream, cooked Maine lobster and season to taste with either brandy or sherry. Spoon the soup into heated soup plates.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/12 of recipe): 160 calories, 8 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, 388 mg. sodium, 2 grams fiber.
*'Rich' Maine lobster stock is prepared by making your own homemade stock and boiling 8 cups until it is reduced by about half, or to a volume of 4 to 5 cups. Concentrated lobster base, sold in jars in specialty food stores may also be used to make the "rich" stock, but be cautious, as it is often very salty.
Recipe provided courtesy of Maine Lobster Promotion Council.