A lobster bisque is a soul food dish, a deeply flavored tomato-based thickened soup, enriched with lobster chunks.
Prepare this soup from scratch. The boiling instructions for a whole fresh lobster will be posted another day.
What is a lobster bisque?
A bisque is a creamy thickened deep flavored soup that originated in France.
However, the dish is more popular in Canada and the US.
It's usually prepared with lobster but it can also be made with crab, langoustine, shrimp, crayfish, calamari or clams.
A classic lobster bisque is thickened with lobster shells, crushed and turned into a paste, and with rice (yep rice!).
I think the best, easiest, and most delicious way to thicken a bisque is by making a roux with all-purpose flour or cornstarch. This soup is also thickened with cream.
Here is an overview of the ingredients and a set of quick instructions.
The complete recipe with US and metric measurements is located at the bottom of the post in the printable recipe card.
- lobster meat - I boil a whole fresh lobster, use the meat in this bisque and prepare a stock with the shells (instructions for that will be posted separately). You can use fresh or frozen lobster meat.
- lobster stock or seafood stock
- onion and garlic
- celery stalks and carrot
- all purpose flour or cornstarch
- white wine or sherry or cognac
- tomato sauce
- seasoning - bay leaf, salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme
- table cream, heavy cream or half and half
If you want to make this without wine etc, I recommend you add stock of the same quantity instead.
To make it gluten-free, switch the flour in the recipe with rice or cassava flour.
You can also opt for a lactose-free bisque by switching the butter with olive oil and the cream with coconut cream.
🔪 How to make it?
Prepare your homemade bisque in one pot and in one go. The lobster meat has to be cooked and the stock ready to be used.
It will turn out super flavorful, intense and full of character.
Keep cooked lobster meat ready and cut into chunks. Keep the stock at the side.
Prepare and cut your vegetables.
Cook vegetables in butter.
Stir in flour and deglaze with wine.
Pour in tomato sauce, broth and season with spices.
Mix and cook your bisque.
Blend soup and mix in cream.
Cook down and simmer further, add the cooked lobster chunk at the end before serving hot.
Lobster bisque can be topped with some greens.
You can choose to top your bisque with fresh parsley or chives.
I simply use chopped fresh celery leaves or even carrot greens (carrot leaves are edible and related to parsley), because that's what I have leftover after using celery stalks and carrots in the soup.
Your lobster bisque will be a real treat with some freshly baked still warm bread or flatbread.
Croutons as a topping also adds insanely awesome texture to the whole dinner experience.
I like a simple green salad with vinaigrette with my bisque or small pink raw radish (adds sharpness).
Keep leftovers in an airtight fridge-friendly container in your fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Warm up again over the stove top in a smaller cooking vessel or place bisque into a microwave-friendly container and reheat in the microwave until hot enough.
You can freeze your bisque too. Prepare batches of your soup in freezer-friendly containers and keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 months.
Reheat frozen bisque over the stove top until hot.
This soup makes a great meal prep dinner meal.
Add 1 tablespoon more of the flour and or increase the cream quantity. But I think the thickness is great as it is in the base recipe. You can make it thicker too by simply cooking down the soup further. Cooking it over a slow flame over a longer period of time will result in a thicker bisque too.
Make sure the frozen lobster is cut into chunks and then just add the frozen meat into the soup. Cook the soup over a slow heat setting so that the lobster gets to heat up gradually. If you use frozen lobster tails, you will need it to thaw first by placing it in the fridge over night.
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Lobster Bisque Recipe
- 1 medium Lobster whole, *see Notes for tails
- 29 ounces Lobster stock or seafood stock, *see Notes
- 1 Onion diced
- 1-2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 2 stalks Celery sliced
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour or cornflour
- ¾ cup White Wine or sherry or cognac
- 1 cup Tomato Sauce plain
- 1 small Carrot sliced
- 1 small Bay leaf
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme
- ¼ cup Half and Half *see Notes to thicken more
- Boil or keep cooked lobster ready, cut into chunks. Also, prepare or keep store-bought stock ready.
- Prepare and cut fresh vegetables: dice onion, chop garlic, slice celery stalks and dice carrot.
- Heat up a deep cooking vessel and melt the butter. Stir in and sautee onion soft over a medium heat setting.
- Stir in garlic and saute briefly. Then add the cut celery and carrot. Sweat over a medium heat setting for a minute or two.
- Reduce the heat a bit and stir in all-purpose flour. Stir cook until the flour is not visible anymore.
- Deglaze your pan with wine, reduce the heat to a minimum. Stir in tomato sauce and stock.
- Increase heat to medium and season your bisque with bay leaf, black pepper, salt, paprika, and thyme. Mix it all in.
- Cover your pot and cook over a medium to low heat setting. Cook for about 30-40 minutes or so.
- Take out bay leaf and discard.
- Blend soup with a hand blender and keep over a low heat setting.
- Pour and mix in cream or half and half.
- Simmer soup further down to desired thickness and consistency.
- Add cooked and cut lobster meat to the soup.
- Serve lobster bisque hot with a topping of your choice. That can be parsley or other greens and/or paprika.
- Use the meat from one whole medium to large-sized lobster or use 2 lobster tails.
- 29 ounces make 2 cans of lobster or seafood stock.
- To deglaze means to pour wine to the pan
- To thicken your soup further, use heavy cream instead of half and half in this recipe.
- garnish with greens such as parsley and or a sprinkle of paprika