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Lolland lobster bisque

August 31, 2011

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Serves 4

Chef Claus Meyer of Hotel Saxkjobing near Copenhagen makes his bisque with shore crabs. To give it a New England context (and because it’s not easy to find whole crabs), lobster goes into this bowl. The result, sweet with a gorgeous orange color, doesn’t taste like any traditional New England lobster bisque.

Salt, to taste
2 lobsters (1 1/4 pounds each)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 tomatoes, chopped
1 apple (any not-too-tart variety), peeled, cored, and chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 parsnip, coarsely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, sliced
1 bunch dill stems
1 handful celery leaves (optional)
5 parsley and thyme stems (optional)
20 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
2 cups hard apple cider
1/4 cup heavy cream
Handful fresh dill sprigs (for garnish)

1. In a large stockpot, bring several inches of salted water to a boil. Steam the lobsters for 8 to 9 minutes or until they are cooked though. Set aside to cool. Tip the cooking liquid into a 4-cup measure. Add enough water to make 4 cups. Rinse out the stockpot.

2. Break off the lobster tails and claws. Remove meat and set aside. Reserve lobster bodies.

3. In the stockpot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the lobster bodies and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, apple, carrots, parsnip, onion, garlic, ginger, dill, celery leaves, if using, parsley and thyme stems, if using, peppercorns, and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes.

4. Add the cider and lobster cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, covered, for 1 hour.

5. Strain the liquid and return to the stockpot. Bring to a boil and simmer steadily for 20 minutes to reduce the liquid more.

6. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the cream. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Ladle into shallow bowls. Add the meat from a claw or tail to the middle of the bisque and top with a sprig of dill.

Luke Pyenson.

Adapted from Hotel Saxkjobing.