Lobster Bisque. How to make lobster bisque, including one easy & one elaborate recipe.

lobster bisque
Lobster bisque is a thick, creamy seafood soup, thought to be of French origin. The soup can be milk or cream based and originally contained puréed lobster meat, as well as sherry, cognac or wine.

Over the years, this recipe has been modified and nowadays, chopped lobster meat is added to the soup after the soup has been prepared.

Seafood bisques can also be made from crayfish, shrimp or crab as well as lobster, although lobster is perhaps the most popular.

A bisque differs from a chowder, as a bisque is usually a rich, creamy liquidised seafood soup, whereas a chowder is a thick milk based soup that contains shellfish and vegetable pieces.
Early bisque recipes from the 18th century included ground lobster or crab shells as an ingredient, which were added to thicken the soup. Today, rice or flour and butter (roux) are used.

Earlier recipes also used poultry or game birds, such as pigeon instead of shellfish.

There are many different variations on how to prepare lobster bisque, but below we have offered two recipes, the first, which is fairly simple and easy to make, whilst the second is slightly more elaborate and sophisticated.

Lobster bisque (simple version)

  • 1 - 2 cups of cooked lobster meat
  • 1/3 of a cup of dry sherry or white wine
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tsp of steak sauce
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. In a small bowl mix the cooked lobster meat together with the dry sherry or wine, and then set to one side.
  2. Melt the butter in a fairly large saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture constantly so that a paste is formed.
  4. Slowly pour in the milk, a little at a time, and continue to stir until the mixture has thickened forming a basic sauce.
  5. Add the seasoning and the steak sauce and stir well.
  6. Finally, add the sherry and lobster mixture, stir well and cover the saucepan.
  7. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and then serve hot with fresh crusty bread.

Lobster bisque (elaborate version)

  • 1 live lobster
  • 1 pint of cream
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1/3 of a cup of chopped onions
  • ¾ of a cup of plain flour
  • ¼ lb of butter
  • ¾ of a cup of tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp of steak sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 8 black peppercorns
  1. Pour 5 litres of cold water into a large pot, add the stock cubes, chopped onion, celery, salt and peppercorns and bring to the boil.
  2. Once the water has reached a fierce boil, carefully add the live lobster, placing it headfirst into the boiling water.
  3. Cover the pot with the lid, return to the boil and then start timing. Cook the lobster for 12 minutes on a reduced heat.
  4. Once the lobster shell has turned bright red after the 12 minutes, remove the lobster from the stock and place it in a dish to cool and so that the juices are caught and can be added to the liquid.
  5. Continue to simmer the broth, leaving the pot uncovered.
  6. Once the lobster has cooled, remove the meat from the shell, chop it up into small pieces and keep it to one side.
  7. Place the shell and lobster parts (not the meat) back into the pot and continue to cook until it has reduced by half.
  8. In a separate large saucepan, melt the butter gently.
  9. Add the flour and mix into the butter, stirring continuously in order to form a paste. Cook the mixture for 1 minute to get rid of the taste of the flour, stirring constantly.
  10. Then, add the tomato purée and mix together. Cook for another minute.
  11. Next, gradually add the lobster stock through a sieve, so that only the liquid goes through, always stirring continuously.
  12. Once a smooth sauce has been formed, reduce the heat.
  13. Add the lemon juice, salt, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper and the sugar, mix together and then simmer for a further 10 minutes, making sure that you stir the broth occasionally.
  14. Slowly stir in the light cream and slightly turn up the cooking temperature.
  15. Add any extra seasoning if required and then add the reserved chopped lobster meat to the soup.
  16. Cook for a further few minutes, then serve hot.

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