I learned something researching the recipe for lobster bisque in today’s Sun Sentinel You Asked for It! column.
It’s based on a recipe served on cruise ships – many leave from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and a lot of recipe requests are generated from passengers who seem to like the soups in particular.
Cruise ships aren’t great about sharing recipes – only a limited few are published; many are for 100 portions or more.
But lobster bisque seems to be a stand-by on every ship, and while some will use lobster base and (shock!) even commercially prepared bisque, many still do it the old-fashioned way. That’s the classic French recipe, and it’s thickened with rice. I hadn’t encountered this particular technique before, but it works, and keeps the soup gluten-free.
Here’s the recipe I shared. It’s time consuming, but the flavor is sensational.
Cruise ship lobster bisque
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay rleaf
- 3 to 4 stems fresh parsley
- 1 2- to 2-1/2 pound lobster
- ¼ cup cream sherry (not cooking sherry)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup short-grain white rice
- 6 cups fish stock or bouillon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- pinch cayenne pepper
In a heavy large sauce pan, saute’ carrots and onion in butter over medium heat until tender, about 2-½ minutes Add thyme, bay leaf and parsley and continue cooking until carrots and onion are barely light brown.
Cut lobster just below head to separate body. Cut body in half lengthwise and then twice crosswise. Cut off claws. Remove stomach and rinse lobster. Add lobster pieces to sautéed carrot mixture and saute’ over medium heat until shells begin to turn red and meat is firm, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sherry, and white wine to pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lobster pieces and clean meat from shells. Set meat aside; return shells to pot.
Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, cook rice in fish stock with salt for 20 minutes over medium heat. Add fish stock and rice to vegetables and lobster shells and simmer over medium-low for 45 minutes. Rice should be fully cooked and broth will be slightly thickened.
Remove shells from pot and strain broth thru a fine sieve into clean pot. Discard bay leaf. Press rice and vegetables through chinois or fine strainer into pot with lobster broth. Discard solids left in sieve. Add heavy cream to broth and stir; simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Dice small the reserved lobster meat and season with cayenne. Pour bisque into soup bowls and garnish center of each bowl with some of the lobster meat.
Makes 6 servings.