Lobster Bisque was my first ever experience with the delicious beast. When I was young, I couldn’t bring myself to crack open those shells and pull out the unknowingly delicious meat. See, I have this thing with bugs – if they’re big enough that I can tell they’re looking at me, I don’t like them. A lobster is just a massive bug.

In any case, I was coaxed by my family to at least try their lobster bisque appetizer at a local lobster restaurant in order to taste the essence of lobster and see if I actually did like it. First bite: hooked. I was into crakin shells ever since. Here’s my baconized take on this ridiculously delicious soup. Don’t forget to check out my Amazing French Onion Soup Recipe!

Ingredients

8 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

2 Lobsters, about 1.5lbs each

2 Leeks

3 ribs Celery

5 Small Carrots

1 cup Dry White Wine

¼ cup Brandy

1 large sprig Thyme

1 small bunch Tarragon

2 Bay Leaves

2 tbsp Tomato Paste

½ cup All Purpose Flour

2L Vegetable stock (two tetra packs), use Fish stock if possible

½ cup Heavy Cream

Directions

1. Grab your leeks, celery and carrots. Peel your carrots, then give everything a rough chop. We don’t have to worry about being too accurate here because we’re going to strain everything later. Before we use these, though, give them a good wash. Leeks hold a LOT of sand, so make sure to be thorough.

2. Grab your lovely lobsters and break them up: Remove the two front claws and cut off the tail. Slice the remaining body lengthwise and reserve the tomalley (and roe, if you get a female!). Remove the remaining side legs, and separate them into individual legs. Reserve ALL of the shells and any juice that come out while you’re doing your disassembly. That is all flavour!

3. Remove the meat from the claws and the tail and set that aside for later. We won’t need that till the very end. It’s probably best to just leave it in the fridge.

4. In the bottom of your biggest stock pot, fry up your strips of bacon (I’ve cut them up, as I usually do) until they’re just about crispy.

5. Add in your lobster shells and stir everything around. At this point, you can make a well in the bottom, and fry up the tomalley (and roe) if you want to use it. Since the tomalley is the liver of the crustacean, it is the place where any of the lobster’s ingested toxins will be stored. You can choose not to eat it if you are worried, but it does add a ton of flavour.

6. Make a well for the tomato paste as well. Push everything aside and fry the tomato paste at the bottom of the pot to rid of some of the metallic flavour, then stir it in to the rest of the liquid.

7. Now, my favourite part. Add in your wine and brandy. Then carefully, either using a culinary torch or a long match, flambé! Let this burn for about 10 seconds (to rid of most of the alcohol in the brandy and to toast the lobster shells) then pop the lid onto the pot to extinguish the flames. How much fun was that?! Did you lose an eyebrow?

8. Next, add in your vegetables as well as your thyme, tarragon and bay leaves. Continue to stir and simmer until the vegetables begin to go soft. This should be about 5-15 minutes, depending on how big you cut your veg. Season with salt and pepper!

 

9. In order to thicken the final soup, sprinkle in about a half cup of all-purpose flour and thoroughly mix it in to the contents of your stock pot. You should see no lumps after stirring for a few minutes. We also want the flour to cook slightly, because the taste of raw flour in a soup is rather off-putting. Once the flour is thoroughly combined, let it cook for 2-4 minutes.

10. Add in your vegetable stock little by little for the first bit so that it combines with the flour nicely, and then dump the rest of it in. Stir this around and bring it back to a simmer. Let it do so for about 30-40 minutes. Check your seasoning again, and adjust accordingly.

11. After your soup is sufficiently simmered, strain it into another pot through a fine mesh strainer to rid of all the shells and what not.

12. Bring this now silky smooth soup back up to a simmer, skim off any dark film, and stir in your cream. Let this combine for a couple minutes and its ready to serve.

13. Serve in a bowl with your reserved lobster meat and a sprig of tarragon. Enjoy!