Summer Lobster Soup
A wonderful take on the traditional lobster bisque that makes the best of summer's harvest.
1 tbsp. sugar
3 1-lb. hen lobsters
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, trimmed, washed, and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 white peppercorns
1 1/2 cups white wine
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup rich cream
Freshly ground white pepper
1 cup shelled fresh peas, blanched
1 cup shelled young fava beans, blanched and peeled
12–18 baby carrots, peeled and blanched
1. Bring 4 quarts salted water and the sugar to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add lobsters, return to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and allow lobsters to cool in poaching water. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, leeks, chopped carrots, and celery, and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, and wine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 1/2 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400°. Remove lobster meat and roe from shells and set aside separately, reserving poaching water. Put shells into a large pan and roast for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to stovetop over medium heat, add brandy, and ignite with a kitchen match. When flames die out, add shells to vegetables in pot. Add 6 cups reserved poaching water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1/2 hour. Strain through a sieve into another large pot, pressing on shells to extract liquid. Add cream, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop lobster, then add it, roe, peas, favas, and carrots to soup. Cover and refrigerate until slightly chilled but not cold.