Recipe: Lobster soup with toast

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For New Year’s Eve my assignment was to make a lobster soup with sherry, so that’s what I set out to do. But as I needed lobster shell for the stock I thought it best to incorporate the lobster meat as well and did so by serving a delicious lobster toast (on butter-fried bread!) along side it. So yummy!

Obviously one can make the soup sans toast the day after a lobster feast or freeze the shells and use them another day. Same goes for prawn shells; you find a great recipe for prawn soup here.

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Lobster soup, serves 8

4 cooked lobsters

2 carrots

1 onion with skin on 

1 fennel or celery 

a bunch dill stalks

1 tsp fennel seeds

300 ml double cream 

50 ml dry sherry

approx 2 tbsp maizena or corn starch to thicken the soup

concentrated lobster stock (to taste)

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1 tbsp butter

a splash of sherry

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped 

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set aside. Chop the shells very coarsley (it’s only so they fit better in the pan later). Place the shell in a large cooking tray with a little oil. Also add large pieces of carrot, onion and celery/fennel. Roast for approx 20 minutes on 180/200C. Transfer the shells and vegetables to a large saucepan with a lid. Add plenty of water (3 litres) and bring to the boil. Add dill stalks and fennel seeds. Place the lid askew and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Sieve the stock and reduce (high heat, no lid) until approx 1 litre remains. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add some concentrated lobster stock if needed. Add the sherry to a clean non-stick pan and let it bubble for a minute. Add the stock and cream and let it thicken. Add the maizena/corn starch to thicken the soup further. Sieve if you see any lumps. Season to taste with concentrate, salt, pepper and sherry. 

From the lobster meat I used approx 1/4 of the meat, the smallest pieces, to place in the soup bowls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped shallots. After a minute add the lobster meat and add the sherry. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill. Divide between the bowls and pour in the soup. 

Lobster toast, serves 8

6 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

remaining lobster meat from the 4 lobsters

1 batch homemade mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon

1 bunch, finely chopped

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt, pepper

Chop the lobster meat (not too finely). Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise to a bowl and mix in the meat. Add more mayo if needed. Add mustard, dill and cayenne after taste. Season. Place cold until serving. 

Remove the crusts on the bread and cut into two diagonally. Fry the slices golden brown on both sides in butter on medium-low heat. Divide the lobster mayonnaise between the toasts and serve with the soup. 

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Prawn soup

We had fresh prawns for dinner on Friday. With salad, boiled eggs, mayonnaise and garlic bread. Yum! And when you peel prawns yourself you are left with the stinking shells. Either you need to take them out to the wheely bin straight away or put them in a ziplock bag in the fridge and make stock on them the next day. I did the latter.

And when the stock is ready (it only takes 20 mins) it is not a far cry from a delicious prawn soup.

Prawn soup, serves 2

Shells after 350 g of prawns with shell

2 carrots

5 cm leek

1 piece of celeriac

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tbsp tomato purée

100 ml white wine

water

some more tomato purée

200 ml cream

dill

salt, white pepper

12 peeled prawns

Heat up a large pan, add oliveoil, fennel seeds and the vegetables. After a few minutes, add the prawn shells and stir around until they are almost white. Add the tomato purée. Add the wine and cover with water. Put on the lid and bring to tapidly to the boil.  Boil on medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Put the stock through a sieve into a clean pan. Reduce until half is left. Taste and reduce some more if it is weak. Add tomato purée, salt, white pepper, dried or fredhly chopped fill and boil for another few minutes. Lower the temperature and add cream, let it thicken for a while. Put the prawns in the soup bowls and pour the hot soup over them. Serve immediately. I found the taste of this soup quite summery, and it works in nice weather too as long as you serve a glass of chilled dry white wine alongside it.