There are many ways to make proper lobster bisque, but then there are ways to ruin a good one. While you may not be a five-star chef or a food critic, your discerning taste buds can definitely tell the difference between a bad one and a good one. But what if you have been used to a badly made one?
Don’t despair as you can still save your lobster bisque. Understanding the origins of a lobster bisque soup, and how the greats make it are key to improving your take on the classic soup.
The term bisque was said to have originated in the 17th century after the French bisque “crayfish soup”, and inspired by the Bay of Biscay, which is a gulf that lies on the western coast of France and northern coast of Spain. The gulf, which is right beside the Atlantic Ocean and the Celtic Sea, is probably the source of the freshest crustaceans, such as lobster, crab, crayfish, and shrimp, for the soup style.
Now lobster bisque is made from the strained juices of boiled lobster shells, specifically from the head and tail, and its meat. While it is common to simply chop the shells coarsely, there are some cooks that even grind and pound the shells for a richer flavor.
Renowned French cuisine cook and TV personality Julia Child once famously said in her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking that cooks should scrupulously pay attention to making sure that the lobster base seafood flavor intensely rich to the point of not washing utensils. "Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don't want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing them down the drain," she said.
For developing the soup’s texture and consistency, there are chefs or home cooks that often incorporate a simple roux, sometimes made from tapioca flour, or by using rice and then blending the bisque in a blender or food processor. The latter is done by Cafe Carlyle’s executive chef, James Sakatos, as reported by The New York Times in a 1998 feature.
According to Custom Culinary, the lobster base broth is no doubt an intricate soup dish, but with the above pointers, you can definitely take yours to a whole new level. With enough practice, your version could become the star of the coming potluck or dinner fare.