A bisque is a hearty, thick “soup” based on crustaceans that probably takes its name from the Bay of Biscay.
You can use any shellfish available for this. Since it’s pureed and has to cook for a long time, you obviously don’t have to buy fresh lobsters for it.
So-called soup lobsters are often used for this, which are no longer suitable for cooking as whole lobsters. A cheaper alternative are beach crabs, which are available to order from the fishmonger. These provide a lot of flavor and are not as expensive as lobster or crab.
A bisque only becomes really strong when it is mixed after cooking. Please note, the hot soup can splash and is not very good for the blades of your food processor, but the result is good. If you prefer to save your food processor, use a rolling pin to crush the contents of the pan as much as possible.
- 1 kg shore crabs soup lobsters
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- ½ winter carrot
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 leek only white part
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dl white wine
- 50 cl cognac or whisky
- 1 l fish stock
- black pepper freshly ground
- Coarsely chop the crustaceans.
- Clean all vegetables (carrot, leek, garlic, onion, celery) and don’t cut them too coarsely.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan until it’s piping hot. Add the shellfish and fry over high heat until nicely colored.
- Add the vegetables and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and stir well so that it does not stick.
- Deglaze the pan with the cognac or whiskey and flambé it. Add the white wine and stir very well. Add the herbs and bring to a boil.
- Add the stock, bring to a boil again, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about an hour.
- Place all ingredients in batches in a sturdy food processor and process until smooth.
- Press through a fine sieve to release all the flavors. Pass through a sieve again, this time a finer one. Season the bisque with salt and pepper.
- This can be used as a basis for a sauce or soup. For example, if you add a dash of cooking cream and assemble it with cold knobs of butter, you have a perfect lobster sauce.