By JEAN DOHERTY
A bisque is a smooth, creamy, highlyseasoned soup of French origin. It’s rich and decadent. It’s classically based on a strained broth or “coulis” of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. In authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup.
• 1 3 ¼ lbs. lobster heads
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 small carrot, chopped
• 1 stick celery, chopped
• 1 sprig thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 large tomato
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper, plus extra to serve
• 1 tbsp brandy
• A pint of dry white wine
• 2 pints of fish stock
• A pint of veal stock
• A pint of heavy cream
• 8 tsp Armagnac brandy
• Sea salt
Mash the lobster heads with your rolling pin until they are well broken up. Have a blast. Let ‘em have it!!! Heat the olive oil in a thick-assed saucepan and cook the onion, carrot and celery over a low heat. When the vegetables are lightly browned, add the parsley, thyme and bay leaf and the lobster heads, stirring so that they don’t stick or burn. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, cayenne pepper and the brandy. Stir well, then add the wine.
Bring to the boil and cook for at least 3 minutes. Add the fish stock and veal stock and bring back to the boil. Season lightly with sea salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any scum that appears on the surface. Drain through a colander set over a clean saucepan pressing the lobster bones well to extract all the juices and flavor.
To serve, bring the soup back to the boil and allow it to reduce. Add up to a pint of heavy cream, according to your taste, and boil for 5 minutes. Pour 2 teaspoons of Armagnac per person into four warmed soup bowls and pour the soup over it. If you have any lobster claw meat available add that too.
Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and serve immediately.
You are the chef!
Although born in Dublin, Ireland, chef Jean Doherty
spent most of her life in Lyon, France, the gastronomical
capital of the world. Together with Vero,
her partner of 25 years, Jean has owned and run
multiple restaurants including Fort Lauderdale’s Le Patio.