We love seafood in our household; prawns, shrimp, crab, lobster (things like squid and mussels are popular too, except my mum’s allergic so they don’t often make a show here). Lobster, quite obviously, is a favourite around here. We love grilling the prepared halves from our local village store with lots of garlic and parsley butter, dipping the juicy chunks of meat in a fragrant saffron mayonnaise that’s very rich, but works amazingly against the lobster meat.
Of course, it comes with a price.
(I just thought I’d share my snap of my grilled cheese, made with lactose-free cheese on sourdough. I hadn’t made a proper grilled cheese since being in Minocqua a few years ago, where my Aunt taught me the proper American way! I’d say this was a pretty good shot)
To make things a bit more cost-effective, however, (to get back to real talk), we gather up the shells of our lobsters, and stick them in the freezers and wait until we have a few more shells, whether from prawns, crab, lobster or even crawfish, saving the body shells, legs, everything. Scraps of meat left in the shells are even better, if they were too small to fish out before. Once we have a few bags of mixed shells, we take the time to make this wonderfully rich lobster soup, a bit like a thinner version of a bouillabaisse. Yummy! 🙂
Serves 3-4 as a light dinner.
A few bags of crustacean shells totalling around 750g or more — we had 4 lobster half shells, about 150g of tiger prawn shells, 200g of crawfish shells, and 3 crab half shells
2 celery stalks, chopped into cm-thick slices
2 onions, peeled and chopped
50g of butter
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 carrot, peeled, and chopped into inch-thick slices
3 handfuls of fresh parsley, rinsed and finely chopped
2 litres of chicken/vegetable/fish stock (your choice!)
1 tbsp of tomato purée
2/3 of a cup of dry white wine
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of cooking cream/single cream
200g of peeled prawns (optional)
Heat up the stock, and keep on low heat to the side. In a large saucepan or stockpot (more than 2 litres, ideally), melt the butter, and fry the onions, carrots and celery, and garlic if using. Add the parsley, and cook for a few minutes, until the onions have turned a little more golden. Add the tomato purée, and mix together.
Add the shells, and mix together, before adding the flour. Let it all fry for a few more minutes, and add at least one litre of stock. Add the white wine, and let it simmer away for at least 20 minutes or so. Push the shells around to the bottom from time to time. Add some more stock (the whole remaining litre if you like), and simmer for another five minutes.
Now, you need to strain your mixture pushing down on the shells to get as much of the soup out into another saucepan. Add a little of the cream at a time, until you have reached your desired consistency. At the last moment, add your prawns, and serve once cooked through with a few slices of toast.