Costly lobster can be stretched to serve four–instead of just one or
two–in this firsr-course soup. Served with chunks of lobster meat and
leeks, it has a luxurious look and flavor.
The day ahead, you can cook the lobster, simmer the leeks, and
concentrate the broth by boiling it for 1-1/2 hours or so. To serve,
reheat the leeks and lobster, arrange in shallow bowls, and add hot
broth. Optional cranberries lend a bright color and slightly tart
taste. Lobster Soup with Leeks 4 cups regular-strength chicken broth 3
cups dry white wine Water 1 live Maine lobster (1-1/2 to 2 lb.) 3 small
oranges 2 leeks (about 1 lb.) 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into
2-inch chunks 2 cloves garlic 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2
teaspoon dry thyme leaves 1 teaspoon whole black peppers 2 sprigs
parsley 3/4 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
(optional) 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
In an 8- to 10-quart kettle, combine broth, wine, and 3 quarts
water. Bring to boiling on high heat, then plunge lobster, head first,
into broth. Return broth to boiling; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Lift
out lobster and let cool.
With a vegetable peeler, cut two 4-inch strips of peel (orange part
only) off 1 orange. Ream enough of the oranges to make 1/2 cup juice.
Add peel and juice to broth. Cut remaining orange into thin slices and
reserve for garnish.
Trim and discard root ends off leeks. Cut off tough green tops,
wash well, and set aside. Split tender white part of leeks and rinse
well; tie split leeks with string to hold together. Simmer the leeks in
the broth, uncovered, until tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Lift
out and drain. (If done ahead, cool, cover, and chill leeks as long as
Add leek tops, carrots, garlic, bay, tomato paste, thyme, pepper,
and parsley to broth. Continue boiling broth, uncovered, while working
When lobster is cool enough to handle, twist off tail where it
joints the body. Push fork deep into a big end of tail and gently pull
out meat in one piece. Cut meat into about 1/3-inch-thick slices.
Remove and discard small stomach sac that lies just behind head and
pull out intestinal vein that runs down to end of tail. Reserve
coral-colored roe (if any) and greenish-yellow liver in body cavity.
Crack claws and carefully remove meat. (If done ahead, cool, cover, and
chill lobster meat as long as overnight.)
Return shells to broth and continue boiling broth, uncovered, until
reduced to about half, about 1-1/2 hours. Pour through a colander over
a large bowl to strain. Discard vegetables and shells. Return broth to
empty pan and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 3 cups.
In a small bowl, mash reserved lobster roe with the back of a
spoon. Add roe, liver and cream to broth. (If done ahead, cool, cover,
and chill broth as long as overnight.)
Shortly before serving, put cranberries, sugar, and about 2 cups
water into a 1- to 2-quart pan and bring to boiling; cover and simmer
until fruit is barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
Bring broth to boiling. If leeks and lobster were cooked ahead,
simmer in broth just until reheated. With a slotted spoon, remove leeks
and cut crosswise into 1-inch lengths. Arrange equal portions of leeks
in 4 wide, shallow soup bowls; top with equal portions of lobster meat
and a spoonful of cranberries. Pour hot broth into each bowl, but do
not cover leeks and lobster completely. Garnish with orange slices.
Pass any remaining broth,. if desired. Makes 4 servings.