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Florida Spiny Lobster Bisque

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds cooked Florida spiny lobster meat

1 rib Florida celery, finely chopped

1 Florida carrot, finely chopped

1 Florida tomato, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 bay leaf

8 black peppercorns

½ cup brandy

½ cup dry sherry

4 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice

¼ cup tomato paste

½ cup heavy cream

1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Slice cooked lobster meat into medallions, reserving a few slices for garnish. Coarsely chop remaining slices; cover and chill. In a 6-quart stockpot sauté the vegetables, garlic, herbs, and peppercorns in oil over medium-high heat until soft. Carefully add the brandy and sherry; simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the fish stock and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain the stock into a large saucepan; discard remaining solids. Add tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes until stock is reduced to 3 cups of liquid. Stir in cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk into bisque. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add chopped lobster meat and simmer until lobster meat is heated through. Add salt and pepper. Serve garnished with reserved lobster medallions.

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