I usually try to plan meals ahead when I head off to the market. But occasionally my BF Trilo runs over to Costco while I’m at work. While I’m in the middle of a half a dozen other things, I’ll get a text message “I’m at Costco, need anything?” I’m sure that I do. If I was there, I’d just shop around and see what looks good and formulate a meal. But my disconnected mind only had one thought. “Lobstah!” my fingers blurt out via text. Luckily Trilo knew how to interpret that, and when I came home there was a pack of lobster tails waiting in the fridge for me. This lobster bisque with crumbled bacon is the result!
One of my favorite meals is Lobster Rolls. Okay, it’s really one of my Food Truck meals – Sam’s Chowdermobile is the best! But I wanted to try to make something new in the Instant Pot. A quick scan of the contents of the refrigerator, and I discovered (somewhat surprisingly!) that I had all of the ingredients needed for a Lobster Bisque.
A Pantry Stocked For The Instant Pot
The first thing that I learned when I began cooking with the Instant Pot is what to stock up on for future recipes. Since the IP requires liquid to cook, and you don’t want to be using water all the times (who wants watery sauces?) Having bone broth, stock, or bullion is number one. Especially for making soups without much advance planning. I try to find interesting local producers if possible. Some of our favorite butchers sell their own premade bone broths. Our Whole Foods also has a great selection. Eventually I’ll try making my own but for now I’m happy to let others do this step.
The second item I have learned to keep on hand is tinned tomatoes of all varieties. I have favorite pasta sauces, purees, tomato paste, and also had the one I needed for this recipe: diced tomatoes. I don’t usually have that one, opting for fresh tomato and dicing it myself. But this recipe called for diced, and BAM! I had some. I took it as a sign from the fates that I should indeed be making this bisque, lol.
Mirepoix Soup Base
“Mirepoix” is a french culinary term. It’s a technique where you finely chop vegetables (usually carrots, celery, onion, and garlic) and then cook them over a low heat with butter or oil until they are soft, but not browned. The intention is to sweeten them, not caramelize them. It’s an easy technique to learn, and when done properly makes for the base of a really tasty soup, or risotto.
In the Instant Pot, you can do your mirepoix on the sauté setting, but because that setting is designed for searing meats, it can get too hot quickly. Just make sure your vegetables are cut into small dice that are all around the same size. Add them to the pot with the butter. And keep an eye on things, moving the veggies around with a silicone spatula so they don’t brown on the hot spots. By toggling the pot off when it starts getting too hot, you can get the mixture to the point where the onions and celery are translucent. Bravo! You have mastered a fancy cooking technique!
Lobster In The Instant Pot
Lobster cooks fast, no matter how you cook it. It’s easy to overcook, and especially so in the Instant Pot. I wanted to be able to get the meat out easily when the soup was done, without having to handle the hot tails too much. I decided to cut the tails in half, using my heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut through the shells, and then a sharp knife to cut cleanly through the meat.
If I was serving this Lobster Bisque with bacon for guests, I would probably have saved a tail to present on top of each bowl, since they looked so fancy when cooked!
Luscious Bisque For One (or Many)
Since I made this lobster bisque with bacon for just myself (yay me!) I decided to put most of the lobster meat into the bisque before using my immersion blender to make it all smooth. I saved aside one tail in chunks to add in later. Next time I’d probably leave more out and have a chunkier soup. Maybe. It is very tasty though, so I might just do it the same way again. I’ll let you know!
After you fill your bowl, top with some lobster chunks. Then sprinkle some bacon crumbles over top. Such a beautiful bowl of Bisque!
So now that you know how easy it is to make … there’s lobstah waiting! Let’s cook.
- 2 lbs Lobster tails approx. 6
- 2 Carrots diced
- 3 stalks Celery diced
- 4 Cippoline onions diced
- 1 clove Garlic chopped
- 14 oz Chicken bone broth
- 14.5 oz Tomatoes diced
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp Dill fresh or dried
- Black pepper fresh ground
- 1 pint Heavy cream
- 2 slices Bacon precooked, chopped
- Gather ingredients and tools.I have bacon on hand already cooked, if you are using uncooked bacon you should cook it now, and set aside to add to soup later.
- Prepare your lobster tails. Using heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut down the back and underside of the shells, and through the center flipper. Use a sharp heavy knife and slice through the meat, separating the halves.
- Chop the vegetables into small, even-sized dice. It’s important for the cook that everything is cut to roughly the same size.
- In the inner pot of your Instant Pot, add the butter and chopped vegetables.
- Turn the pot on sauté. Cook, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until the onions and celery are translucent. Don’t let the veggies brown. If it looks like they are starting to caramelize, you can adjust the temp by turning off sauté and letting the pot cool a bit, while continuing to stir.
- When vegetable mix is cooked, add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Add in stock, Old Bay, dill, and a crack of fresh black pepper.
- Stir to combine. Then lay in the cut lobster tails, slightly submerging them.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot, turn the vent to closed, and set to cook on manual, high pressure for 3 minutes. After the time is up, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. If the pin has not dropped, do a slow pressure release by slowly turning the nozzle with a spoon, or silicone glove. Let the steam release slowly until the pin drops and the lid is unlocked. Steam is HOT!Note: by doing a slow, controlled pressure release you won’t have liquids splattering out the vent. It will also be easier on the lobster meat, with less of a chance of the meat ‘seizing up’ and becoming tough.Careful open the lid.
- Remove the lobster tails from the soup with silicone tongs. Place in a bowl.
- Pull the meat from the shells, and roughly chop. Put all but 3-4 half-tails back into the pot. Reserve the rest of the lobster chunks for adding to bowls when serving.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until desired consistency. You may prefer to leave the soup a bit chunky.
- Pre-heat the heavy cream in a small bowl in the microwave. After vegetables are blended, add the warm heavy cream, and stir well to combine.
- To serve, ladle into bowls. Top each bowl with a few chunks of lobster. Sprinkle bacon over the lobster and bisque. Enjoy!
- The soup with be slightly chunky. For a smoother consistency, you may choose to leave the lobster out when blending, and add all of the chunks in later (I’m going to try this next time).
- The remaining soup can be stored in an airtight container and reheated in the microwave.Enjoy!