• Prep Time
    1/2 hour
  • Cook Time
    3 hours
  • Serving
  • View

This is definitely not a weeknight dish.  Unless you don’t have a job in which case I suppose you could spend half the night doing this without the worry of an alarm clock. This is a great way to use those frozen lobster tails in your frig.  Put those out to thaw the night before.  Then, when you go to the grocery store after work, pick up some shrimp that have already been peeled, and this dish becomes marginally less time consuming.  Generally speaking, I have a couple head of roasted garlic on the stove top waiting for an opportunity like this. So, while some of my work was already done, this bisque remained a major undertaking.  It’s important to watch that stock and don’t let it boil up too much; you want a slow simmer for 2 or 3 hours.  At the end, add the cream and chopped lobster meat.  Sprinkle with chives, pop some champagne and relax.  This velvety bisque is worth the effort, and, guess what, when you have left-overs the NEXT night, all you have to do is gently heat it up.  Now, that’s luxury.



Now — a word or two about Julia Child’s traditional French Lobster Bisque recipe.  Try it if you want to but I had to re-read that recipe about 10 times myself, and I kept wondering about some of the steps which seemed gratuitously complicated.  All those pots and moving the food from one pot to the other seemed unnecessary.  Remember that Julia was cooking before the advent of immersion blenders, so when she tells you to cook rice to thicken the bisque, you can skip that step by pulverizing your cooked and mushy Mirapoix with your Kitchenaid hand held immersion machine. Note that I did not do that either in my own rendition of this classic dish.  In the recipe here, I did not blend the vegetables and add them back to the soup.  I might do it next time… but as I was cooking this bisque, I was loving the light silky texture.  Adding back the pulverized Mirapoix might have given it a more velvety texture.  But, as I was cooking and tasting, the flavor I was getting from my stock was perfect… the sherry was adding a nice nutty sweetness and the lobster shells were imparting salinity.  Neither flavor overwhelmed and I liked what I had going.  This is where you have to decide how much of someone else’s recipe you want to adopt.  Read other recipes for lobster bisque before you trust mine completely!  In particular, read Julia Child’s and then go to and read what the writer Daniel Gritzer has to say about making lobster bisque.  Then, use your intuition and trust your instincts.  If you love your food, others will too.

POST-SCRIPT:  In 1984, New Orleans hosted the Louisiana World Exposition with the theme “The World of Rivers: Fresh Water as a Source of Life.”  Local designer, artist and jewelry maker Mignon Faget was commissioned to design this china for visiting dignitaries.  She sold it in her shop for a while, but unless you snatched up a bunch of it in the mid-80’s you’re out of luck.  Well, I happened to marry an admirer of Mignon Faget who had a set of these plates and gumbo bowls and he gave them to me and I absolutely treasure them for many reasons.  They remind me of 1984.  They remind me of F.B. Williams.  And, they remind me of the all the beautiful food that has been offered to me since I moved to New Orleans.











    Roast the garlic and have it ready to squeeze into the seafood stock.

    Step 1

    Remove the lobster meat from the shells. Put the lobster meat on a pan, coat it with butter and roast at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool and keep in frig.

    Step 2

    Now start the stock. Swirl some olive oil in a hot Dutch oven, Throw in roughly chopped onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes.

    Step 3

    Throw in the lobster shells, the shrimp and the herbs.

    Step 4

    Add the tomato paste. Keep cooking.

    Step 5

    Add sherry. Keep cooking. Cook it down about 15 minutes.

    Step 6

    Add the lobster juice. Add the water.

    Step 7

    Season with salt and maybe just a tiny splash of hot sauce.

    Step 8

    Cook over low heat (a low simmer) for about 3 hours.

    Step 9

    Add cream; do not boil. Let the soup heat up.

    Step 10

    Chop the lobster meat and add to the soup.

    Step 11

    Sprinkle with minced chives.

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