Lobster Bisque Recipe
What is lobster bisque?
Losbter bisque soup is one of the most popular seafood soups in haute French cuisine, found in gourmet seafood and fine dining restaurants.
Bisque is a rich and creamy soup made of crustaceans stock, commonly from lobster and shrimp even though crawfish, crab and langoustine can be used.
In this easy recipe, you are going to learn how to make this scrumptious soup just like French chefs, with simple ingredients.
Lobster Bisque Soup
This soup is absolutely delicious and full of rich and deep flavors of lobsters.
I will guarantee you that it’s so much better than Red Lobster. In fact, the taste is so good that it tastes just like the best seafood restaurants!
This lobster bisque soup also feeds four people in your family at a fraction of restaurant’s bill.
How to Make Lobster Bisque?
Traditional French cooking uses a long list of ingredients to make the soup.
I adapted my recipe from CIA Pro Chef’s Maine lobster bisque recipe.
I used three small lobsters (1 1/2 lbs each) to make the soup. First, I cook the lobsters in boiling water.
I extract the meat from the lobster tails and claws. To make the lobster stock, I put all the lobster shells and heads into the boiling water. Drain the lobster stock and discard all shells.
Next, I saute chopped onion, carrot and tomato with butter. Then, I add the lobster stock, wine and all the herbs and seasoning ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes, remove the bay leaves and parsley stems.
Puree the soup with a blender and strain the soup using a fine mesh sieve. Discard all the residue.
Add whipping cream and season with sea salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, Japanese mirin and thicken the soup with corn starch slurry.
Add the lobster meat and serve immediately with chopped parsley.
To make the best lobster bisque that tastes just like the best seafood restaurants, here are my tips and secret techniques:
- Use fresh and live lobsters, if possible.
- Less is more with spices. The original recipe calls for a laundry list of fresh herbs but I simplified the recipe and cut them down to dried bay leaves and fresh Italian parsley sprigs.
- I used Japanese cooking sake instead of white wine. Japanese cooking sake imparts an earthy aroma to the taste.
- I also used Japanese mirin or sweet rice wine to complete the overall taste of the soup.
- For a tint of spicy note, use cayenne pepper for a more pronounced heat.
Brandy or Sherry?
Professional chefs use brandy or sherry to jazz up the overall taste and nuance of this soup. You can use either, both will lend a more intense and sophisticated flavor to the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Thicken Lobster Bisque?
Traditionally, lobster bisque is thickened with a rice thickener.
Combine rice and chicken stock together in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until all the liquid has been evaporated. The cooked rice will be pureed and add to the soup.
You can also use roux to thicken it. Roux is made of flour and butter. First, you melt the butter and then add flour, stir until it becomes smooth.
Add roux to the bisque soup to thicken to your desired consistency.
For my lightened up version of lobster bisque, I used corn starch slurry to thicken the soup.
Can I Freeze Lobster Bisque?
I don’t recommend freezing the soup because the lobster meat will turn rubbery after frozen.
However, you may keep the bisque in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To serve, just reheat in the microwave and serve warm.
Can I Skip Alcohol in the Recipe?
You can skip alcohol in the recipe. Brandy or sherry are also added but it’s optional.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This soup recipe is 641 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with Lobster Bisque?
Serve this soup with French baguette or other seafood dishes. For a restaurant-style meal, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 3 small lobsters, 1 1/2 lbs. each (0.6 kg)
- 4 cups lobster stock
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 oz. (115 g) onion, peeled and diced
- 4 oz. (115 g) carrot, peeled and diced
- 4 oz. (115 g) tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup white wine or Japanese cooking sake
- 2 tablespoons brandy or sherry, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5 bay leaves
- 10 Italian parsley sprigs, no leaves
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 heavy dashes cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Japanese mirin sweet rice wine, optional
- 1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley leaves
- In a large soup pot, add 5 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add the lobsters (head down) and cook the lobsters for 10 mins. Use a strainer to remove the lobsters, let cool.
- Extract the lobster meat from the tails and claws. Cut the lobster tails and claws into bite-sized pieces, set aside.
- Add the lobster heads and shells back to the lobster boiling water. Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until the stock reduces to 4 cups. Strain the lobster stock, discard the heads and shell.
- In a medium soup pot, heat up the butter and sauté the onion, carrot and tomato on low heat until the vegetables start to caramelize.
- Add the lobster stock, white wine or Japanese cooking sake, brandy or sherry (if using), turmeric powder, bay leaves and Italian parsley sprigs. Simmer the bisque for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Discard the bay leaves and Italian parsley sprigs from the soup. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Strain the soup using a fine mesh sieve. Discard the residue.
- Simmer the soup again on low heat. Add the whipping cream and season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and mirin, if using.
- Thicken the soup with corn starch plus water mixture. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until the soup thickens to your desired thickness.
- Add the lobster meat into the soup, stir to combine well. Turn off the heat and ladle the lobster bisque soup and lobster in four (4) soup bowls. Serve immediately with chopped parsley.
Adapted from CIAProChef.com.
If you don't have a big soup pot, you can cook the lobsters in batches, but in the same pot. For every pound of lobster, cook it for 7 minutes. For a 1 1/2 lbs lobster, cook in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 641Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 269mgSodium 1133mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 56g