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
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.
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.