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Video:How to Make Lobster Bisque

with Keith Dunlop

Lobster bisque may be a staple of fancy restaurants. But it's also easy for the home cook to prepare. Learn how to make a delicious, elegant and simple lobster bisque that you will be proud to serve.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Lobster Bisque

Hi, I am Keith Dunlop and welcome to About.com. When you think of Lobster Bisque, chances are you envision a fancy restaurant and uniformed waiters. But what is interesting is that the lobster had very humble beginnings -- it was used for centuries as bait and fertilizer!

This simple recipe for lobster bisque has two parts. First, we need to make a soup base, or stock, for the bisque and then, make the bisque itself.

Lobster Bisque Ingredients

For the stock, you will need:
  • 2 lobster tails, approximately ½ lb. each
  • 1 c. of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • and about a ½ tsp. of peppercorns
To make the bisque, you will need:
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/4 c. of dry sherry
  • 2 c. of half-and-half
  • 1/2 c. of chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika
  • 1 sprig of thyme or 1/8 tsp. of dried thyme salt
  • and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 blender

Prepare Stock for the Bisque

So first, we will make the stock. Fill a pot with enough water to cover your lobster tails, but do not add your tails yet. Add in all of your other stock ingredients: the coarsely chopped vegetable, the tomato paste, and the peppercorns, and bring to a boil. Slide in your lobster tails and simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes until the lobster tails are cooked through. You can tell when they are done by their color, a little after they turn that characteristic lobster red color, it is time to take them out.

Take the tails out of the stock mixture and let them cool. Meanwhile, turn the heat up on the stock and let it boil off. You are looking to reduce the amount of liquid by roughly a half. If you would like even more lobster flavor, remove the meat from the lobster tails after they have cooled and throw the shells back into the stock mixture. When your stock is reduced, strain it into a bowl and set it aside. Voila, you have your stock.

Now to make the bisque!

Make a Base for the Bisque

Melt your butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Now, add your onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Now, sprinkle in a little flour about every 30 seconds or so, while continuously stirring. If it looks like it is getting a bit dry, add a dash of the stock you just made to loosen things up. What we are doing now is making a roux which will help to thicken the soup. When you have added all your flour, stir in the rest of your stock. Continue stirring and add your sherry and continue heating over medium high heat until you have a nice thick broth.

Add Spices and Lobster

Turn down your heat and add your half-and-half, salt and pepper, thyme, and paprika and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. While it is cooking, you can coarsely chop your lobster meat and add about a half cup of it to the broth. After 10 minutes, we will use our blender to puree the soup in small batches, to change it from somewhat chunky to smooth and bisquey! Just repeat the blender step, pouring your blended soup into a fresh saucepan, until your entire soup is nice and creamy.

Serving Lobster Bisque

When you are ready to serve, add the rest of your chopped lobster to the soup and heat until the lobster is warmed through.

As a final touch, add a dash of cognac to each bowl when you serve it.

Now there is a soup that you can be proud to serve. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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