Preparation 30 min
Cooking time 1h30
For the stock:
- In a large pot lined with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of salted water to a boil. Steam lobster tails, top-side down, until just cooked through and tails curl under, 6 to 8 minutes for small tails and 8 to 10 minutes for large. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- When cool enough to handle, use kitchen shears to cut through underside of tails. Remove meat from shells; reserve the lobster shells. Run a paring knife along back of each tail and remove vein. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; cover until ready to use.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add shells and cook until fragrant and deep red in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add fish stock, wine, and 4 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, skimming impurities from surface, until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, for approximately 1 hr. 15 minutes.
- Strain stock into a large liquid-measuring cup or bowl. Wipe out pot.
- In the same pot melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, celery and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add brandy and white wine and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes for some of the alcohol to cook off. Add one jar of arrabbiata sauce, thyme, bay leaf and strained lobster stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaf before pureeing the soup.
- Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until very smooth. Return soup to pot.
- Whisk together cream and cornstarch, then stir into bisque. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add cut lobster meat and cook until just warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour soup into warmed bowls and serve, topped with lobster and garnish with finely chopped chives if desired.