What Is Lobster Bisque?

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making lobster bisque

“Making lobster bisque” by joyosity is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most prized dishes in the seafood world is lobster bisque, a menu staple at seafood restaurants from coast to coast. Lobster bisque is a surefire crowd-pleaser, and you might be surprised how easy it is to pull off in your own kitchen.

Rather than spend $20+ on lobster bisque at a dine-in restaurant, you might want to attempt this dish at home. After some experimentation, you’ll probably become a pro at adding your own tweaks to make it your own.

Bisque vs. Soup: What’s the Difference?

Bisque is easy to get confused with plain old soup, probably because it actually is a type of soup. However, while soup tends to have a clearer, thinner broth, bisque has a thick and creamy broth. 

Bisque also has French origins and includes some type of seafood, which sets it apart from other soups. Seafood like clams, lobster, and crab pair really well with the creamy, savory sauce included in a bisque. Often, the sauce is smooth and buttery, which we all know works well with seafood.

While bisques can come in many forms, they almost always use cream and tomato as their main ingredients to make the sauce or broth. The result is usually a brightly colored cream sauce with rich flavor and a delectable texture.  

What Is Lobster Bisque?

Lobster bisque soup follows the traditional definition of a bisque. It includes seafood — lobster, of course — and has a luscious, creamy, smooth tomato-based broth. Although the basics are the same in most lobster bisques, they can vary greatly in flavor, depending on where you get them from.

That’s because, like soup, you can make bisques with a variety of seasonings and other additions to change the flavor or add a little extra to the dish. For instance, some lobster bisques have carrots and celery in them, while others rely on onion and garlic to add texture and flavor.

Although it’s usually served hot, some people prefer to eat lobster bisque cold. If you enjoy it that way, lobster bisque can be an excellent staple for a packed lunch. Make a large batch on the weekend, and you’ll have a prepped lunch ready each day of the week.

What Kind of Lobster Meat Works Best in Lobster Bisque?

Lobster is available fresh or frozen, and some places sell lobster tails by themselves. Which is best for a lobster bisque, you might wonder? 

Honestly, there’s no wrong way to go with lobster meat, but it’s tough to beat fresh lobster. You can buy lobster online to come conveniently to your home. Or, if you can’t cook it right away, frozen lobster meat or lobster tails can be a good alternative.

If using frozen, you’ll just need to thaw the lobster meat in the refrigerator overnight to be able to prepare your lobster bisque recipe the following day. Pat the lobster meat dry before adding it to the bisque. This way, the frozen liquid won’t thaw into your bisque and water down the broth.

How to Make Lobster Bisque

Now, let’s explore how to make lobster bisque in your own kitchen.

Equipment Needed for Lobster Bisque

You don’t need any special equipment to make lobster bisque. If you have a stockpot to cook the lobster, a large soup pot, a knife, and a cooking spoon, you can make lobster bisque at home. And, if you bought frozen lobster meat or lobster tails, you won’t even have to prepare your own lobster, eliminating the need for a large stockpot and a knife. 

Just be sure your soup pot can accommodate the batch size you’d like to make. If you’d like, you can make a large enough batch to freeze for up to three months. In that case, you’ll need one with plenty of space to fit an oversized batch of lobster bisque.

Some cooks prefer to use an immersion blender to create the lobster bisque broth. Although not required, an immersion blender can help you puree the lobster stock to ensure a smooth finish.

Lobster Bisque Ingredients

Lobster bisque recipes vary slightly — more on that in a moment — but they generally include mostly the same primary ingredients:

  • Chopped lobster meat
  • Heavy cream
  • Celery, onions, or carrots (or all three!)
  • Flour
  • Tomato paste
  • White wine, fish stock, seafood stock, or chicken stock
  • Fresh herbs and spices

Some like to substitute ingredients for healthier versions, like swapping half and half instead of heavy cream or using almond flour instead of white flour. Of course, anything goes in your bisque recipe, but make sure you at least have your own versions of the ingredients above to get started.

As for herbs and spices, these do vary a lot between recipes. Use what you like! Some that go well with a lobster bisque include tarragon, chives, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, and a bay leaf or two. If you want a kick to your lobster bisque, try paprika, cayenne pepper, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Cooking Lobster Bisque

If you’re familiar with making soup, you shouldn’t find that making lobster bisque presents too much of a challenge. It’s the same basic idea, but with an extra couple of steps to thicken the broth. You should also familiarize yourself with opening a lobster and removing its meat if you haven’t done it before unless you plan to buy frozen cooked lobster meat or lobster tails, which are relatively simple to harvest sweet lobster meat from.

You can make lobster bisque in a couple of ways. First, you can reserve the liquid you’ve used to cook lobster or lobster tails, using it as lobster stock for the bisque. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, or seafood stock purchased from the store as your bisque’s base.

Make a Restaurant-Worthy Lobster Bisque at Home

Lobster meat is one of the best for bisques. If you love soup and lobster, you’ll probably love making lobster bisque at home, especially when you’re craving comfort food on a relaxing weekend. 

Need some lobster for your bisque? Visit Maine Lobster House to order Maine’s finest live lobster from your computer. We have lobsters ranging from one to four pounds that ship securely to your home.

If you’re not ready to work on your own lobster bisque, you can order some of ours. Our Lobster Bisque features real Maine lobster and comes in 16-ounce packets for you to whip up as desired.