Appropriately rich and loaded with chunks of lobster, this bisque is a snap to make.
Makes 2 ½Makes 4 cups (enough for 4 first-course servings)
12 ounces lobster tails in the shell
1 carrot (2.5 ounces) , peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 celery rib (3 ounces), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 medium yellow onion (5 ounces), peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half, plus more for drizzling if you like
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Chives, cut into 2-inch lengths, for garnish
1. Fit the chopping blade into the work bowl and pour 2 cups of water into the bowl. Put the lobster tails in the cooking basket and cook at Steam Setting on speed 1 for 11 minutes. Remove the basket and cool the lobster. Reserve the cooking liquid.
2. Wipe out the work bowl. Add the carrot, celery and onion and pulse 2 to 3 times, until the vegetables are coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and switch over to the stirring blade. Add butter and cook at 100 C on speed 2 for 12 minutes.
3. Add the sherry, tomato paste, thyme, tarragon and lobster steaming liquid. Cook at 100 C on speed 1 for 10 minutes. Remove the measuring cap from the lid, pour in ½ cup cream and cool 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, remove the lobster meat from the shells, cut into 1-inch or so pieces and set aside. (A simple way to remove the lobster meat is to turn the shells upside down and cut along both side of the clear, thinner shell. Peel back the clear shell and remove the meat from the shell.)
5. Replace the measuring cap in the lid. Puree the bisque on speed 7 for 2 minutes.
6. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining 1 tablespoon cream in a small bowl. Remove the measuring cap from the lid and pour the cornstarch mixture into the bowl. Cook at 100C on speed 2 for 5 minutes. Add the lobster chunks during the last minute of cooking.
7. Ladle into bowl and scatter chives over the top. Add a drizzle of heavy cream if you like.
If you prefer a slightly more lobster-y broth, simmer the lobster shells (after removing the meat) along with the steaming liquid from the work bowl in a covered saucepan over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain before using.
This is an elegant soup and should have a satiny-smooth texture. Two things you can do to help get there are: peel the strings from the celery before cutting it into chunks and strain the finished soup through the cooking basket after pureeing and before adding the lobster. Little things make a difference.