One of the best tips for making lobster soup is to use very fresh, high quality lobster. It can also be helpful to use the shells and bones of the lobster to make the stock for the soup. As with most seafood dishes, it is important to only cook the lobster until it is just cooked through; anything more than this can make this delicate shellfish tough and rubbery. There are also a variety of additional ingredients that can be added to the soup, most often being potatoes, cream, and butter.
While fresh lobster may be difficult to come by in many areas, it is considered by most professional chefs to be the single most important part of making lobster soup. Frozen and canned lobsters lack a lot of the flavor and texture that many expect from lobster. Unlike other meat-based soups where previously cooked protein is considered ideal, good lobster soup always uses fresh lobster. Many consider the second best choice to be using fresh lobster that was cooked the day before provided that the shells are still available.
Lobster is the star of lobster soup, often referred to as lobster bisque. Despite this, the stock of the soup is a very important part of the dish. While different stocks are available pre-made, the best lobster soups utilize the shells and juices of the fresh lobster in making the stock. When making lobster soup, the entire lobster can be cooked in the stock liquid, or the claws and tails where most of the meat is located can be removed and the rest of the lobster can be used for the stock.
When cutting up the lobster, it is important to save any juices that come out to use in the stock. The shell and juices should be placed in a heavy stock pot and covered in water. While other flavorings can be added depending on the style of soup, these three ingredients are what give lobster soup its amazing flavor. Once the stock has simmered for about an hour, the shells can be strained and the stock can be used for the lobster soup.
Nearly any ingredients can be used in lobster soup, including potatoes, corn, tomato products, onion, and cream or butter. While these ingredients vary depending on the style of soup, the lobster should always be handled carefully to ensure optimal flavor and texture. If pre-cooked lobster is being used, it should be added to the simmering soup one to two minutes before serving, giving it just enough time to warm through. If fresh lobster is being used, it should also be added at the very end of the cooking process, usually about 10 to 15 minutes before serving, depending on the size of the chunks of meat.