Just like French onion soup, the name of bisque also pops up in our minds whenever we think of French soups. Bisque is a luxurious and delicious soup that has a smooth and creamy texture. The wonderful soup is usually made by pureeing sautéed vegetables and the meat of lobster, prawn or crab.
The cooking process of bisque involves two steps. In the first step, a lobster stock is prepared by cooking the lobster shells in a pot of salted water. And secondly, the prepared stock is used to cook the bisque or the creamy soup.
Difficulty level: Medium
Servings per recipe: 6-7
Preparation time required: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time required: 35-45 minutes
1 stirring spoon
1 large wire sieve
1 immersion blender or standing blender
2 kg + ½ kg of lobster
½ cup of cognac
1 large onion, finely chopped
2/3rd cup of heavy cream
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
4 tablespoons of thick tomato paste
5 cups of water
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
3 cups of low-sodium fish stock
4 tomatoes, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
2-3 sprigs of tarragon
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
½ cup of vermouth
2-3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons of butter
Cayenne pepper powder, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
Method Of Cooking
1. To take out the meat from the lobster, first cut the lobster in half through the midriff. Then tear off the claws and the legs. Make an incision at the joints of the claws and legs and then split them in half to pull out the meat from them. Then take a large pot and fill it up with 5 cups of water. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water and immerse the lobster halves in that. Put the lid on the pot and boil the lobster for 6-7 minutes or until it turns into a slight reddish color.
2. Once done, take the cooked lobster halves and set them aside to cool them down. Once cooled enough to handle, crack them open in half to take out all the meat from the lobster halves. Then take a bowl and put the cooked and the uncooked lobster meat into the bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the meat.
Now take the shells and chop them roughly into medium sized pieces. Return back the chopped shells to the stock and boil it for 6-7 minutes more. Once done, strain the stock through a sieve to take out all the lobster shells from it.
3. Now take a skillet and place it on the stove. Light up the flame and set it on medium. Once the skillet becomes sufficiently hot, put the butter and the olive oil in it. Melt the butter completely before adding the chopped celery and the chopped onions to it. Sauté the onions and celery for 3-4 minutes and then add-in the chopped carrots, the tarragon leaves and the minced garlic to the sautéed onions and celery.
Then sprinkle a little bit of the flour to the vegetables to prepare the roux. Add a little bit of the flour at a time to properly combine it with the vegetables. You may add a little bit of the fish stock to loosen the vegetables if they become too dry.
4. Once done, deglaze the skillet with the vermouth and some of the fish stock. Then transfer all the contents to a large pot. Remove the skillet from the hob and place the pot on the same hob. Finally, stir in half of the lobster cooking liquid and the bay leaf. Cook the mixture on high heat for 10 minutes and then add-in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper powder, freshly ground black pepper and the salt.
5. Boil the soup on high heat for another 15-20 minutes or until it gets reduced to about half. Then take out the lobster meat from the refrigerator and add half of it to the soup. Stir to mix the meat with the soup and then puree the mixture either by using an immersion blender or in a standing blender. Be careful if you intend to puree the soup in a standing blender because the soup may suddenly ooze out of the blender.
6. Once the mixture is pureed, pour it back into the pot and add the remaining lobster meat pieces and the cognac. Give a brief stir to the soup to combine the added ingredients and then finally add-in the lemon juice and the crème fraiche. Turn down the flame to set it on medium low and simmer the soup for 5-6 minutes more just to warm up the lobster meat pieces. Once done, ladle the soup into individual bowls and decorate with crème fraiche if you like.