Lobster Bisque

A white bowl with bright orange lobster soup with a lobster tail and chives on top.

4.9 from 16 reviews

Lobster Bisque is a classic, rich and creamy soup that's perfect for special occasions or when you want to serve something fancy! I spent years tweaking this recipe to make it the absolute best lobster bisque you'll ever try. This post includes all of my tips and tricks for making the most flavorful, silky and luxurious lobster bisque on the planet. 



For the Bisque:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon OR 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour or an all purpose cup-to-cup gluten free blend
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry (medium or cream sherry works too)
  • 6 cups lobster or shellfish stock *(see note)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme OR 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (red or white wine vinegar work too)
  • 10 ounces lobster meat, cut into meaty chunks **(see note)
  • chopped chives for garnish, optional

For the Lobster or Shellfish Stock:

  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, halved
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • as many lobster, shrimp and/or crab shells as you can fit - the more, the better, but even just a few will work.
  • water, to cover


For the Bisque: 

  1. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and white pepper, then cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the tarragon, tomato paste and paprika, then stir until the tomato paste is dispersed.
  4. Add the flour, then stir until incorporated. 
  5. Add the white wine and sherry, then increase the heat to medium-high and stir until the liquid is absorbed. 
  6. Add the lobster stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and white pepper, then cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove the thyme sprig and bay leaf, then puree the soup until it's totally smooth. You can use an immersion blender or do it in a regular blender in batches. 
  8. Make sure the soup is very smooth with no remaining lumps or graininess. You may have to run your blender for a long time to achieve this. If your blender can't get it super smooth, strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer.
  9. Place the soup back on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the heavy cream and sherry vinegar, then stir to combine.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. 
  11. To serve, divide lobster meat among bowls, setting aside some for garnish if desired. Ladle hot soup over  top, then sprinkle with remaining lobster meat and chives. Serve immediately. 

Make the Lobster or Shellfish Stock:

  1. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves and lobster/shrimp/crab sells to a large stock pot. Press down to condense any space between the ingredients.
  2. Add water to cover, then bring up to a boil. Lower the heat so the water is gently simmering and cook for 20-3o minutes. 
  3. Strain. 
  4. Store lobster stock in mason jars or plastic quart containers. Yield will vary. Stock can be frozen for up to 6 months.


  • *If you can't make homemade lobster or shellfish stock, you can use boxed or canned broth or bottled clam juice in a pinch. If you have any lobster shells from your lobster meat, add that to the simmering soup and remove them before blending. It will add extra depth and lobster flavor.
  • *Use caution when blending hot liquids and avoid using an air-tight blender such as a NutriBullet (or cool down completely before blending to avoid injury). 
  • Lobster can get expensive, so don’t stress over how much you can use in this recipe. Cook whole lobsters and remove the meat yourself (that way you can use the shells!), but you can also use frozen lobster tails (use those shells too) or even frozen pre-cooked lobster meat.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut up the lobster shells into smaller pieces when making a stock so they fit better in the pot. 
  • This bisque is creamy, but not super thick. If you prefer your bisque on the thicker side, you can create a slurry by whisking together flour and water until smooth, then slowly pouring it into the boiling soup while whisking, a little bit at a time, until you reach your desired thickness. Simmer for several more minutes to cook out any remaining raw flour.
  • If you don’t have a super high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, you may just have to blend for a longer period of time so that all of the graininess is out of the soup. If blending still leaves the soup grainy, just run it through a fine mesh strainer for a silky smooth soup. 
  • Warm your bowls in a low oven or microwave right before serving. This is a restaurant trick used to help keep the soup hotter for longer. 


Keywords: shellfish, crustacean, soup, bisque, lobster, shrimp, crab