Jax Fish House

1539 17th Street, Denver, CO 80202

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Lobster Bisque

Yields: 1/2 Gallon


1 gal water, plus additional cold water for ice bath ice
1 1/2 lbs live Maine lobster
2 T olive oil
2 C leeks, coarsely chopped
1 C onion, coarsely chopped
1 C celery, coarsely chopped
1 C carrots, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 T minced garlic
2 T minced shallots
2 T dried basil
2 T dried thyme
1 T black peppercorns
2 T tomato paste
1 T Jax Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
1 t celery seed
2 t Kosher salt
1/2 C long-grain rice
4 T brandy
2 C heavy cream
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper


  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with freshly ground black pepper.


  • Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil in a large stockpot. While water is heating, fill a bowl (large enough to fit lobster) full of ice and then fill with cold water. This is your ice bath. When water is boiling, place lobster in pot and cook approximately 3 minutes, until it stops moving. Remove lobster from water with tongs and plunge into ice bath for 5 minutes. Remove lobster meat from the shell. With a French knife, cut the lobster body in half lengthwise. Set aside lobster body, shells, and any juices from the cutting board. Return lobster cooking water to a boil and let reduce by three-fourths; this will be the stock for the bisque. Dice lobster meat; this will be the garnish for the soup.
  • Place oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add lobster body, shells and juices. Sear for approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add leeks, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, shallots, basil and thyme. Reduce heat to medium and sauté approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The vegetables will release liquid; just keep stirring until all liquid has evaporated and pan is almost dry. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add peppercorns, tomato paste, JAX Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, celery seed, salt and rice. Sauté for approximately 10 minutes, until tomato paste caramelizes and turns darker, slightly brown. Again, stir frequently, as the mixture will be dry.
  • Deglaze with 2 tablespoons brandy and add lobster stock (4 cups), cream and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. You may want to let this cool overnight.
  • Remove lobster body from bisque. Take care not to miss any lobster body parts—they may ruin your blender. Place in small batches in blender. Fill blender about three-fourths full. Spin on high setting until smooth then strain through chinois or fine mesh strainer. A large ladle is a good tool to help force the bisque through the chinois. When all bisque has been spun and strained, place back in large stockpot on stove. Bring to a boil. Add remaining brandy and reserved lobster meat. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 3 minutes. Check seasonings.


  • This will take some time to make. You will want to make it a day ahead so it can cool before puréeing and straining. Save leftover soup; it makes a great sauce for fish or chicken.

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