A bowl of the lobster bisque with rolls
Appetizers, Soups

Traditional Lobster Bisque Recipe

2 comments This post may contain affiliate links from which we get a commission. We may earn money from any companies mentioned in this post. Thank you for supporting our site.

Share this recipe!


Last updated on October 12th, 2021 at 03:08 pm

It felt so fancy to walk up to the meat and seafood counter and ask for three lobster tails. I don’t know why but it seemed lavish. I hadn’t cooked lobster before making this lobster bisque recipe. In fact, I hadn’t had much experience with lobster at all before this.

So don’t be scared if you haven’t cooked it before either. It isn’t too complicated to cook the lobster correctly, so you don’t have to be afraid of messing it up.

Whenever I say bisque, I can’t help but think back to a comedy sketch all about bisque. Give it a watch for a quick food-related laugh. Mostly about the restaurant owner over-pronouncing bisque. You’ll never hear the word bisque the same again.

History of the Dish

I did not realize how much variety there is to a lobster bisque recipe. There are a lot of ways you can cook the lobster, make the stock, blend it up, thicken it, etc.

From my understanding, the word bisque comes from French meaning twice cooked. This makes sense since the general method is to cook the lobster, remove and reserve the meat, and then cook the shells further to build flavor in a stock to be used as the soup base.

Bisque first came to be known as a crustacean soup in 17th century France. In a truly authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to help thicken and flavor the soup. We will not be going that traditional with our recipe today.

Instead we will use two of the common methods for thickening a bisque – rice and heavy cream.

If you are serving it as an appetizer, then it is commonly served in a mug so that you can sip it straight from the dish.

Tools for the Lobster Bisque Recipe

This recipe is a bit involved. It’ll take some time and work on your part. Though some of that time will just be the stock or soup simmering in the pot.

You will want a large, heavy-bottom pot. We will cook the lobster, build the stock, and cook the final soup all in that same pot. I like to use a large Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven. But any large pot would probably fit the bill.

Full pot of bisque with rolls

For straining the soup, you will need a fine mesh strainer. This will get the majority of the stuff out of the stock – the rest will get blended up in the following steps. If you want to make sure that even more is strained out, then you can line the mesh strainer with cheesecloth. That is what I typically do when making my homemade chicken stock.

Bisque is a blended soup. So you will need something you can blend everything together with. And you will likely need to work in batches to get it done because it is a large pot of soup after all. For this, you can use an immersion (stick) blender. But I highly recommend a powerful blender, like the Vitamix I have, to get the smoothest soup possible.

Having Bisque

My wife and I had the opportunity to travel to the New England area in 2016. The goal was to hit up six of the seven remaining states that my wife had yet to visit. And then later we would cap it off with a grand trip to Alaska. But that’s for another time.

While in Boston, my parents told us we had to make a stop by Legal Sea Foods. Specifically to try the lobster bisque. So we did.

We ordered a cup of the bisque, along with a few other items from the menu. The food came to the table and we started to dig in. I began with the bisque. It was great – though I think probably my first experience with the soup itself. So I did not have many comparisons by which to judge it. My first or second spoonful had a large chunk of lobster.

A spoonful of the lobster bisque recipe

I thought, ‘Great, this is a nice chunky soup. They did not skimp.’

And then my wife had some soup. And could not find a single other large piece of lobster. It seems we had only one chunk. There were some small scraps of lobster meat floating around, but nothing like the first chunk.

So, unlike that experience where I had to apologize to my wife for accidentally eating all of the lobster out of the soup, we will make one with lobster spread through each bowl.

Traditional Lobster Bisque

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: SoupsDifficulty: Hard


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time





Silky-smooth, full-flavored, sippable bisque that is worth the effort and attention to make


  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Three 4-ounce lobster tails

  • 2 cups sliced celery, divided

  • 2 cups sliced carrots, divided

  • 2 cups chopped white onion, divided

  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste, divided

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 sprig oregano

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 5 leaves fresh tarragon

  • 5 sprigs parsley

  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar, divided

  • 10 cups chicken stock (or seafood stock if you have some)

  • 1 cup sliced leek

  • 3 tablespoons long grain white rice

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and lobster tails top-side down to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes
  • Flip the lobster tails over, cover the pot, and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the shell is bright red and the lobster meat is no longer translucent
  • Turn off the heat and remove the lobster tails from the pot and set them aside to let cool until they can be handled, leaving the butter in the bottom of the pot
  • Once it is cool enough to handle the lobster, remove the meat from the tails by cutting down the center of the tail, spreading it apart, and pulling out the meat
  • Store the lobster meat in the fridge for later, break apart the shells, and add the shells back to the pot
  • Build the lobster stock by adding 1/3 cup each of the celery, onion, and carrot to the pot and sautéing on medium heat with the shells for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the bay leaves, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley, 1/3 cup of the vinegar and all the chicken or seafood broth to the pot
  • Let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover to let it simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally
  • Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl and set aside, tossing all of the things you strained out
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the pot on medium heat and add in 1/3 cup of the reserved stock you just strained
  • Add the leek and the remaining 1 and 1/3 cups celery, carrots, and onion to the pot to sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Pour the rest of the strained stock into the pot and bring it all to a simmer
  • Add the rice and remaining 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and 1/3 cup vinegar to the pot and let it cook until all of the vegetables and the rice are soft and almost mushy, about 30 minutes
  • While the soup is simmering, take the lobster meat from the fridge and roughly chop it for topping the soup
  • When the rice and vegetables have finished cooking in the soup, add 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of the chopped lobster meat into the soup
  • Blend the soup up in a powerful blender, in batches, until the soup is very smooth, and then return it to the pot
  • Stir in the heavy cream until thoroughly mixed
  • Serve the bisque in bowls or mugs and top it with the chopped lobster meat

Share this recipe!


  1. One of my all time faves! Usually purchased while visiting Boston. Have never tried to make it before, I’ll have to try this sometime.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *