Florida Spiny Lobster Bisque

Picture of Author: Susan Gauthier

Author: Susan Gauthier

It’s Spiny Lobster Season

It’s spiny lobster season in Florida again and time to share another delicious local recipe. The French version of lobster bisque is one of the most popular seafood soups in the world and can be traced back to the 17th century. This is my local “Florida Spiny Lobster” version, but the same method works nicely with crabs, shrimps, or any crayfish.

Bisque is actually a method of extracting flavor from crustaceans (hard-shelled sea creatures) by simmering with aromatics to create an intensely flavored stock, then strained, simmered again, and pureed. This brings out some intensely delicious flavor in a creamy, smooth and highly seasoned soup.

This Florida Spiny Lobster Bisque recipe is made easy with big chunks of Florida lobster tails in every bite and a quick homemade stock! So smooth and creamy!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds cooked Florida spiny lobster meat
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus a few sprigs for decoration
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Slice cooked lobster meat into medallions, reserving a few slices for garnish. Coarsely chop remaining slices; cover and chill.
  2. In a 6-quart stockpot sauté the vegetables, garlic, herbs, and peppercorns in oil over medium-high heat until soft. Carefully add the brandy and sherry; simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the fish stock and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Strain the stock into a large saucepan; discard remaining solids. Add tomato paste and simmer for about 10 minutes or until stock is reduced to 3 cups of liquid.
  4. Stir in cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk into bisque. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened.
  6. Add chopped lobster meat and simmer until lobster meat is heated through.
  7. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve Florida Spiny Lobster Bisque garnished with reserved lobster medallions and a sprig of thyme.


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