This luscious lobster bisque is enhanced by using locally churned Cotswold Butter which is available at many Cotswold farmer’s markets. Below is the link to farmer’s markets in the region. This link and other useful foodie information appear in the Travel Guide of my book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. (Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book)
2 each 1¼ to 1½ lbs. live lobster
6 cups Water
2 cups Dry white wine
2 cups Fish stock
½ cup Melted butter, salted (Cotswold if possible)
1 cup Onions, finely diced
½ cup Carrots, finely diced
½ cup Celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup Cognac (or Brandy)
1½ cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Thyme
¼ tsp. Ground red pepper
1 cup Heavy cream
Ready-made puff pastry
1 Cotswold egg
1 tbls cold water
1.Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.
2.Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
3.Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4.Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
5.Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.
6.Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
7.Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
8.Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.
9.Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
10.Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.
11.Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.
To add puff pastry:
Allow bisque to cool over night
Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180C fan/gas 6
Fill ramekins almost to the top with the cooled bisque (if filled to the
top, the bisque will wet the pastry and prevent it from rising)
Roll out a square of puff pastry to overlap the ramekin by an inch or so
Brush pastry with a mixture of egg beaten with a tbls of water
Place ramekins in oven for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and browned
New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle