A Simple Lobster Bisque for Valentine's Day
OK guys, how's this for a great fish course?
Lobster Bisque. A bisque is a cream soup that uses the shells of crustaceans (shellfish like shrimp & lobster) and is often pureed.
What's not to love? Sweet, succulent lobster, creamy base, and easy, too (but you don't have to tell her that).
There are recipes out there that call for setting things on fire (flambé), chopping up whole lobsters, and that have ingredient lists as long as your arm.
That's all well and good, but what we're aiming for here is maximum impact with a minimum of frazzled nerves, so you can both enjoy your romantic Valentine's Day dinner and not smell like you just crawled out of the sea.
Old Bay Seasoning
One of the ingredients in this quick and easy lobster bisque recipe is Old Bay Seasoning. Old Bay Seasoning is a popular spice blend that is particularly associated with seafood dishes.
It is a blend of herbs and spices that includes celery salt, paprika, and black pepper, and it is used to add flavor to a variety of dishes, including fish, chicken, and vegetables. It is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in the early 20th century.
Old Bay Seasoning is particularly popular in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, including Maryland and Virginia. It is often used to season seafood boils, and it is also a popular choice for seasoning crab cakes.
Lobster Bisque Recipe
- 1 - 2 cups cooked lobster meat you can now find lobster meat frozen or canned in most supermarkets - otherwise buy one and cook it yourself
- ½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup onion diced
- ¼ cup celery diced
- ¼ cup carrot diced
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cups whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup chicken stock if you have lobster stock, use that instead
- Combine the lobster meat with the sherry. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a hot pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Once it stops sputtering, add the onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper and Old Bay. Stir and let cook until the vegetables are translucent and are getting soft.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the flour and cook for two to three minutes, stirring all the time.
- While whisking, add the cold milk, half and half and stock and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute, still whisking constantly. Turn the heat down and let simmer until slightly reduced.
Now, you have two options.
- Option 1: using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
- Option 2: Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids.
- Taste, and add more salt, pepper or Old Bay, if you think it needs it.
- Add the reserved lobster and sherry to the pot and simmer for just a couple of minutes, so the lobster is heated through.
- Serve with crusty bread and maybe a little sour cream on the top. If you want to be really fancy, sprinkle on a little chopped tarragon as garnish.