Lobster Bisque Recipe (Medium Difficulty)

Classic lobster bisque recipe
kcline / Getty Images
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
298 Calories
15g Fat
21g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 738mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 11g
Calcium 105mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's an easy way and a hard way to make lobster bisque. 

The hard way isn't so much hard in the sense of difficult, as it is time-consuming. You start off with a live lobster, and things get even more interesting from there. 

You can read more about the technique, but the main thing to understand about it is that there's a ton of flavor in the lobster shells, and so in order to infuse your bisque with the most intense, rich lobster flavor, you have to use the shells, and it involves a number of steps.

You can also make a bisque the easy way, which is to make a basic béchamel and maybe puree it with some cooked lobster meat and season it up and serve it garnished with lumps of lobster meat and chopped herbs.

There's also a medium way. The Goldilocks way, if you will. With this method, you can use fresh or frozen lobster meat, and the base of the soup will be a velouté, which is a type of sauce made by thickening stock with roux. If you can get your hands on lobster stock, great — fish markets and specialty food stores some times have them in the frozen section — but you can use store-bought fish stock, which is pretty widely available these days, or even vegetable stock.

I'd avoid using chicken stock, because I don't think those flavors go together — chicken and lobster. And while I love surf and turf, I think beef stock would make the bisque too dark.


  • 100 grams lobster meat (cooked; equivalent to the meat of an average lobster)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 quart lobster stock (or fish or vegetable stock)
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt to taste (kosher)
  • white pepper to taste
  • Garnish: chopped fresh herbs

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter, and sauté the carrots and onions until soft. Stir in the flour to form a roux, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in a while. Stir in the brandy, then the stock and the bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat and strain directly into a blender. Add the tomato paste and half the lobster meat and purée until smooth. 

  3. Return the puréed soup to pot and add more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Stir in the rest of the lobster and gently heat to a simmer until the meat is heated through. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper, ladle into handled bowls, garnish with chopped fresh herbs, and serve.