Lobster Bisque

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 8
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1 large lobster -- -or- 2 small ones
1 small carrot
1 medium onion
8 tablespoons butter
5 sprigs parsley
1/2 piece bay leaf
1 dash thyme
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup fish stock -- -or- water
1 tablespoon sherry
3 cups milk
3 cups water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt and pepper -- to taste

Preparation / Directions:

Cut the body and tail section of the lobster into pieces. Crack the claws. Peel and dice the carrot. Peel and chop the onion very fine. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a skillet and sauté the vegetables to a golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the parsley and bay leaf and sprinkle a pinch of thyme over the vegetables. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in the same skillet. Arrange the lobster pieces in the skillet. Cook the lobster, shaking the pan once or twice, until it reddens. Spoon 1/4 cup of brandy over the lobster pieces and set aflame. Stir in the wine and fish stock or water and allow the lobster to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove the lobster from the shells dice the meat, and sprinkle with the sherry. Re serve the shells. Bring the milk and water to a boil. In a large s saucepan, make a paste by melting 4 Tbsp. of the butter and stirring in the flour. When the mixture turns golden, stir in the hot milk and water mixture, and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Put the most tender parts of the lobster shell through a grinder. Add the ground shell and the other pieces of shell to the cream soup, along with the sautéed vegetables and fish stock and wine liquid. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, for 1 1/2 hours. Remove any scum that rises to the surface. Remove the soup from the stove and press through a fine sieve, discarding the vegetables and shells. Add more milk if the mixture is not creamy enough. Return to low heat and stir in the heavy cream. A drop or two of red vegetable coloring may be added at this point if a pinker color is desired. Adjust the seasonings. Stir in the diced lobster meat just before serving. (Serves 8) It is a time-consuming recipe, but, then, for lobster, it's worth it, because such a soup is quite wonderful. (I had a delicious one in a restaurant on Easter Sunday.) If you like, you can stir in two Tbsp. brandy along with the lobster just before serving

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