A great thing to remember when cooking is to use every part of every ingredient. Just like a roast chicken can turn into a rich chicken stock, which then can be used to make an amazing soup, lobster shells also make a flavorful stock. This recipe for Thai Lobster Bisque is all about getting your money’s worth in the most delightful way.
To make the soup, I took the shells from two cooked lobsters and used a small amount of the meat as a garnish (the rest was eaten with butter or used in this marvelous Champagne lobster salad). The shells were simmered with water and a lot of aromatics including garlic, ginger and lemongrass, and eventually finished with coconut milk.
While this isn’t exactly authentic Thai food, the flavors and aromas reminded me of Tom Kha soup, one of my favorites.
Try this soup for yourself the next time you find yourself with leftover lobster shells.
Here’s the recipe:
Thai Lobster Bisque – serves 4
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled ginger, sliced
1/2 lemongrass stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces and smashed
Shells from 2 lobsters, broken
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
12 cups water
1 cup lite coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
Cooked lobster meat, for garnish
Pour the oil into a large pot over set over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the lobster shells and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
Stir in the tomato paste, salt and peppercorns, then pour in the water. Increase the heat to high and bring the water just to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and simmer uncovered 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Cool slightly then strain the broth into a pot through a fine mesh sieve. Discard shells and vegetables. Gently simmer the broth again for 1 hour to reduce then add the coconut milk and lime juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.
To serve, divide the soup into four large bowls and garnish with cubed lobster meat.