Classic Lobster Bisque

Yield: 12 portions

Lobster carcasses with tomalley and roe – 6
Olive oil – 4 Tbsp.
Garlic cloves, chopped – 6
Carrots, chopped – 3
Celery stalks, chopped – 3
Onion, chopped – 2
Fennel bulb, chopped – 1
Italian plum tomatoes – 28-oz. can
Water – 2 qt. plus 1 cup
White wine 2 cups
Veal or chicken stock – 1 1/2 cups
Fresh thyme sprigs – 4
Fresh tarragon sprigs – 4
Bay leaves – 2
Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp.
Saffron threads – 1/2 tsp.
Kosher or sea salt – as needed
Black pepper – as needed
Converted rice – 1/3 cup
Brandy or cognac – 1/4 cup
Heavy cream – 1/3 cup
Lobster meat, cooked, diced – 8 oz.
Fine sherry – 6 Tbsp.


  1. Split lobster carcasses; drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and roast in preheated 400F oven 35 minutes.
  2. Heat large soup pot and add remaining oil. Sauté garlic, carrots, celery, onions and fennel 10 minutes. Break up tomatoes and add to pot along with their juice. Add 2 qt. water, wine and stock. Add lobster carcasses to pot; deglaze roasting pan with 1 cup water; add mixture to pot. Heat to boil; skim top. Add herbs, bay leaves, pepper flakes, saffron, salt and pepper. Simmer, patially covered, 11/2 hours.
  3. Remove and discard carcasses and bay leaves. Stir in rice, tomalley and roe; simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Purée and strain through china cap.
  4. To serve, place brandy in a pan, ignite and burn off alcohol. Add to bisque along with cream and lobster meat. Adjust seasonings. Stir in sherry and ladle soup into warm bowls.