The first time I made this soup was at culinary school with Chef Dan Hugelier. He chopped up a whole lobster in front of the class, and it seemed like a waste of lobster until we tried the soup, which had been transformed into a wonderful, aromatic, creamy bisque. This is by far one of my favorite soups—the lobster flavor is present but not overpowering.—Chef Tommy Kaszubowski
Get more gourmet Thanksgiving recipes by Tommy here.
For the Lobster Bisque
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole lobster, chopped into 10 pieces, rinsed clean, patted dry
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, split and smashed with the back of a knife
- 6 sprigs cilantro
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bottle dry sherry
- 6 pie pumpkins, roasted, cooled, flesh removed (see main text)
- 2–3 quarts chicken stock, as needed
- 2–3 cans good-quality coconut milk (such as Kame brand)
- ½ lime, juice
- Salt, to taste
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil until hot and shimmering. Add the chopped lobster and sauté until browned; add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, lemongrass, cilantro and curry paste. Sweat until the ingredients start to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add tomato and sweat a few minutes more. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan; reduce until liquid is almost all gone. Add the pumpkin and enough stock to cover; simmer 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and return to a simmer.
Use a stick blender, purée the soup, lobster shells and all, until somewhat fine textured; pass through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to get all the broth and juices through. Season the soup with lime juice and salt. Refrigerate until serving time.
For the Lobster Croquettes
- 4 ounces shrimp
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 ounces cream
- ½ cup cooked lobster meat, chopped
- Flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs for breading
- Vegetable oil for frying (several cups)
In a food processor, purée the shrimp with salt and pepper until tacky. Add the egg yolk and purée again; slowly drizzle in the cream. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the chopped lobster and chives; microwave a spoonful to check for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Place the mix into a large plastic storage bag and cut the corner to create about a dime-sized hole. Lay a 12-inch-long sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface with the long side facing you. Pipe lobster mixture in a line down the middle lengthwise, leaving 2 inches on each side. Starting from the bottom, roll to the top and twist into an 8- to 10-inch tube. Tie each side tightly and steam until cooked through. Chill completely. Unwrap and cut into 1-inch pieces. Dredge each piece in flour, dip in egg wash (beaten egg plus a tablespoon of water), and coat in breadcrumbs. Do not stack; reserve until plating step.
For the Chive Oil
- 1 bunch chives
- ½ cup vegetable oil
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Cut chives into 1-inch pieces and quickly blanch; remove with a fine-mesh strainer, shock in ice water, and pat dry on paper towels. Place the chives and vegetable oil in a blender and purée on high until well blended. Allow oil to settle and pass through a coffee filter into a small pitcher or squeeze bottle.
For the Herbs
Prepare and toss together 1 tablespoon each of torn basil, picked cilantro, and torn mint just before assembling soup.
Fill a pot one-third full of vegetable oil over medium to high heat and heat until shimmering. Carefully place croquettes in hot oil and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Reheat soup until almost boiling. Ladle 8 ounces (1 cup) of soup into each of four bowls. Place a croquette in the middle and drizzle chive oil around it. Place the herbs on top of each croquette. Serve immediately.
Suggested wine pairing: Gewürztraminer, Dry Riesling or Auxerrois