Creamy Langoustine Soup (Humarsúpa)

  • Serves

    serves 4


Similar to an American lobster bisque, the broth for this warming Icelandic soup is reinforced with langoustine shells and reduced before being bolstered with cream and curry powder. Our version is adapted from a recipe by home cook Þorgerður Gunnarsdóttir, who served the soup at her Christmas Eve dinner topped with the plump poached tail meat. This recipe first appeared in our December 2014 issue with the story Northern Lights.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 2 lb. shell-on whole langoustines
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cups fish stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. mild curry powder
  • 1 12 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives


Step 1

Remove heads and shells from langoustines and lightly crush; chill tail meat until ready to use. Heat 1 tbsp. butter and the oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook shells, carrots, celery, and half the onion until vegetables are soft, 6–8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, paprika, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add stock; simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Strain stock.

Step 2

Wipe pan clean and add 4 tbsp. butter; melt over medium. Cook remaining onion and the garlic until soft, 3–4 minutes. Stir in curry powder; cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup cream and the wine; cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add reserved stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Keep soup warm.

Step 3

Whip remaining cream in a bowl into semi-stiff peaks. Melt remaining butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Season langoustine tails with salt and pepper; cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 3–5 minutes. Divide soup between bowls and top with langoustines; garnish with whipped cream and chives.

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