Lobster Bisque

A holiday favorite and traditional classic. Lobster bisque needs no introduction.

Lobster Bisque

Savory, sweet, buttery and delicious classic Lobster Bisque
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cups


  • Stock pot with steamer insert
  • Dutch oven or stock pot, 6 -7 quart size
  • Immersion blender or regular blender


  • 30 oz Lobster tails Frozen are fine if fresh is not available
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Dry Sherry
  • 2 cups Dry White Wine A buttery chardonnay works well here.
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 cup Fennel Bulb, Roughly Chopped Use the white part only
  • 3 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 cup Shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup Diced Tomatoes, Canned Can use fresh, but peel and seed
  • 1/4 cup Brandy
  • 3 tbsp Raw White Rice
  • 2 tbsp Tomatoe Paste
  • 1 tsp Hungarian Paprika Do not use smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 each Bay Leaf
  • 2 tsp Thyme leaves, fresh Remove from stalks
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 oz Maderia


  • Thaw lobster tails completely if frozen.
  • Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, cut through the top side of the lobster tail, splitting from end that is closest to the body all the way to the tail.
  • Pry the shell apart to allow access to devein the tail. Look for the vein along the edge of the shell, it will be a dark gray vein between the shell and the meat. Remove the vein.
  • Bring 4 cups of water with 1 Tablespoon of salt to a brisk boil in a large stock pot.
  • Add the deveined lobster tails to a steamer basket, shell side down (shell protects the meat from intense heat of the steam) and place over the boiling water in the stock pot. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and steam the lobster for 5-7 minutes. Reserve the steaming water for the stock.
  • Immediately remove the tails when the lobster turns bright red and the tails are opaque. Do not over cook at this stage.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove the tail meat from the shells with a fork. Try to get it all in one piece if possible. Chill the lobster meat until ready to use.
  • In a large stock pot or dutch oven (6 – 7 quart size) saute lobster shell in olive oil over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to release flavors.
  • Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add 2 cups white wine, chicken stock, and reserved salted water from steaming the lobster tails. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until reduced to about 6 cups of stock. This takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • While the stock is cooking, chop the vegetables and measure out the remaining ingredients.
  • When stock is reduced, strain shells from the stock. If the stock is less than 6 cups add a bit of water to bring to 6 cups of lobster stock. Reserve stock an proceed to next steps.
  • In a large stock pot or dutch oven,saute the fenne, celeryl and shallot in 1/4 cup unsalted butter, until soft and starting to brown.
  • Add in the reserved stock, diced tomatoe, brandy, raw white rice, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf and thyme; simmer for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  • Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the final liquid. If using a regular blender, use care in handling hot liquid and do it in small batches as steam from the hot liquid can cause pressure to build inside the blender. Return all liquid to the pot.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, fresh lemon juice and Maderia to finish off the bisque.
  • When you are ready to serve the bisque, slice the lobster meat into serving size pieces and saute in a tablespoon of unsalted butter over medium-high heat, just until warmed through to prevent overcooking meat.
  • Spoon bisque into bowls and top with the warmed, buttery lobster meat. Enjoy!


Cook with a wine you would drink.  Don’t skimp on the wine, it should not be too acid, or too sweet in this dish. 
Recipe can be made up to step 12 a day in advance to save time on the day you wish to serve. 
Keyword bisque, Lobster, soup

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