Lobster bisque would be a very special starter to serve over Christmas and cooked Irish lobsters are now widely available throughout the year.
Twist and remove the claws, and the Cut the lobster in half lengthways, then open it up and remove the tail meat. Use the back of a knife to crack open the claws and remove the meat. Chop the meat and set to one side.
Heat some oil and butter in a large pan and stir in diced carrots, fennel, celery and onion. Add the lobster shell and bouquet garni, then cover and cook for 10–15 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
Add some brandy, flambé it if you wish, then tip in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.Add the tomato puree, white wine and stock and bring to a simmer, then cook gently for 30 minutes, until slightly reduced.
Season to taste, then paass the soup through a fine sieve into a deep saucepan. Add some butter and the reserved lobster meat, keeping a little meat back to garnish. Whizz until blended, and put some lobster meat into the bottom of a soup bowl. Ladle the soup around the lobster, add a swirl of cream and finish with a few micro herbs, a little oil and cracked black pepper – this really is a delicious and elegant soup, perfect to serve at Christmas.