Lobster Bisque

Serves 8



  • 3 (1½-lbs each) lobsters
  • 3 qts salted water


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • aromatic scraps such as fennel tops &  parsley stems (optional)


  • 3 sticks butter
  • 2-4 tbsp minced shallots
  • 2½ - 3 cups flour

Cream Base

  • 2 qts lobster stock
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 2 cups sherry
  • 2 pinches of nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp tomato paste
  • 5 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 5 cups heavy cream

Garnish (optional)

  • chopped fresh parsley


Boil & Shuck Lobsters

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large stockpot
  2. Add lobsters, cook 14-18 minutes, covered
  3. Remove lobsters from the pot and allow to cool 5 minutes before handling. Set cooking liquid aside and reserve
  4. Crack lobster over a shallow dish or saucepan to catch juices for later use.  Remove legs, claws and tails, and extract meat.  Set meat aside

Make Stock

  1. Add shells, and bodies (containing roe) to a heavy-bottomed stock pot, with 6 tbsp butter and mirepoix over medium heat. Take a large, heavy object like a meat mallet or flat-ended rolling pin to crush the shells in the pot. This will help release the best flavor from the shells
  2. Saute 5-10 minutes. Add the reserved boiling liquid to the pot, as well as any run-off juices from cracking the lobsters
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer and allow to cook, uncovered for a minimum of 45 minutes, and up to hours (as long as you can wait - more time = more flavor)

Make Roux

  1. Meanwhile, melt 3 sticks butter in medium sauté pan over medium heat
  2. Add shallots, and allow to cook in butter until soft, 1-2 minutes
  3. Add flour, and whisk. When the flour is incorporated, reduce heat to low, and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring or whisking, assuring that the roux does not reach any darker color than the initial blond color

Finish Stock & Add Roux

  1. Strain simmered stock through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl. Press and crush shells to extract every last bit of flavor
  2. Whisk in tomato paste, brandy, sherry, and Tabasco, sauce. Add nutmeg and heavy cream. Bring back to low simmer

Add Roux & Finish Stock

  1. Return stock to stock pot, and bring back to simmer
  2. Slowly add 1½ cups of roux to stock, whisking vigorously to assure that there are no lumps. (The remaining roux can be refrigerated for later use in other recipes)
  3. Separate whole pieces of lobster tails, legs and claws for garnish, from less-attractive scraps and roe. Chop scraps and roe, and add into bisque
  4. Add 5 cups of heavy cream, stir to combine all ingredients
  5. Ladle and serve with pieces of lobster to and chopped fresh parsley