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The Happy Chef – Mid-Winter Lobster Bisque

by Leigh Sackett

Winter is certainly upon us and has been for awhile. We may not be seeing as much white stuff as New England but we certainly have felt the cold and as far as illness goes, well, many of us have felt that too.

Two weeks ago most of my colleagues at this fine newspaper were sick and my children were sick and my friend’s children were sick and it just seemed everywhere I turned someone was battling something! Yet I felt fine. As I began to realize the responsibility that is left to the ones who are well, I wondered if being the last one standing was a blessing or a curse. Even though it is lonely out here in the “land of the living,” I have seen enough illness in my days to not take good health for granted, so I will say that it is a blessing indeed.

We felt the promise of Spring last Sunday and with the warmth of the sun and 50 degree temperatures I sat my children out in the backyard (sick or not!) and told them to close their eyes and put their faces to the sun. I asked if they felt that warmth and they said they did. I told them that that is the promise of spring – a remarkably great gift on a grey winter’s day.

So if you are fighting the cold and the viruses and wondering if an end is in sight, yesterday’s warm day is your answer, but until warm and healthy days move in on a more permanent basis, embrace the cold with this hearty soup that is even fit for a special Valentine meal! Hope your Valentine’s Day is happy AND healthy!

1/2 lb lobster meat, cut into small chunks

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup white wine

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon dried thyme

6 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon paprika

1 cup hot water

1 teaspoon lobster base (better than boulion)

4 ounces tomato paste

2 bay leaves

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 tablespoons butter

– In a saute pan heat a little oil over med-high heat and saute shallots, onions, and garlic for one minute.

– Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

– Add the worcestershire, tabasco, and thyme and saute for another minute.

-Deglaze the pan with the sherry.

– Add the paprika, hot water and lobster base and combine well.

– Stir in tomato paste and add the bay leaves.

– Simmer for 10 minutes.

– Whisk in heavy cream and the butter and bring to a boil.

– Add the lobster and simmer until cooked through.

– Serve with crusty garlic bread.

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