How To Make Lobster Bisque

Welcome to Crab House on PIER 39, where seafood dreams come true and the ocean’s bounty is transformed into culinary delights that leave your taste buds dancing with delight. While we don’t serve the culinary delight that is lobster bisque, we know exactly what makes for a delicious and healthy lobster bisque. In this article, we embark on a culinary journey, unraveling the secrets of creating the best lobster bisque that San Francisco has to offer. From understanding the essence of this delicacy to learning how to cook lobster bisque with finesse, we’re here to guide you through every step of the way. So get ready to dive into a world of lobster bisque. 

What is Lobster Bisque?

crab soup recipe 1

Lobster bisque is a luxurious and velvety soup that boasts a rich and intense flavor profile. Derived from the French word “bisque,” which refers to a creamy, smooth, and highly indulgent soup, lobster bisque embodies the essence of fine dining. It is a harmonious blend of fresh lobster meat, aromatic vegetables, and a symphony of spices that tantalize the senses. As the best crab restaurant in San Francisco, we may not have this legendary item on our menu, but we know what makes it one of the best soups out there.

Lobster Bisque Using Lobster Shells

The foundation of any exceptional lobster bisque lies in extracting the full depth of flavor from the lobster shells. While the below isn’t a recipe for lobster bisque using lobster shells, keep this in mind. The discarded remnants, that are the lobster shells, are often overlooked. They hold a treasure trove of essence that can transform a mere soup into a symphony of taste. As the shells simmer gently in the fragrant concoction, they release a medley of intricate flavors, capturing the very essence of the ocean. This slow infusion imbues the bisque with an undeniable richness, evoking the tantalizing aroma of a seaside feast and creating a harmonious balance that defines the ultimate seafood indulgence.

How to Thicken Lobster Bisque

Achieving the perfect consistency for your lobster bisque is an essential step in creating a memorable dining experience. To thicken your bisque to velvety perfection, consider using a roux or a slurry. Not sure what those are? Not to worry, we’ll explain further below:

For a roux-based thickening:

A roux is a fundamental ingredient and technique in culinary artistry, serving as the cornerstone for creating luscious sauces, soups, and gravies. Crafted by gently cooking equal parts of fat, such as butter or oil, with flour, the roux undergoes a magical transformation as it takes on various shades, from pale to deep golden, imbuing it with distinct flavors and thickening properties. This versatile concoction acts as a liaison, seamlessly marrying diverse elements while lending body and richness to a wide array of dishes. From the ethereal silkiness of a classic béchamel to the robust allure of a hearty gumbo, the roux is a cornerstone of culinary alchemy, weaving its enchantment through the art of cooking.

For this lobster bisque roux you will melt butter in a separate pan and add an equal amount of all-purpose flour. Cook the roux over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a pale golden color. Gradually whisk the roux into your simmering bisque until it thickens to your desired consistency.

For a slurry-based thickening:

A slurry is a simple yet powerful culinary technique used to effortlessly thicken sauces, stews, and liquids. It’s very similar to a roux. Comprising a mixture of starch, often cornstarch, and a cold liquid like water or broth, the slurry serves as a quick-fix thickening agent. When introduced to a hot liquid, the starch particles swell and create a smooth texture, binding together ingredients and enhancing the overall consistency of the dish. This culinary wizardry allows for on-the-fly adjustments, transforming thin liquids into rich, velvety creations with a mere whisk and pour. Whether crafting a glossy glaze or fine-tuning the body of a delicately balanced soup, the slurry is a chef’s secret weapon, ensuring culinary excellence with a touch of enchantment.

Mix equal parts of cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into your bisque while stirring continuously. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes until thickened.

Choose the method that suits your preference, and you’ll have a luxuriously thick lobster bisque that’s as captivating in texture as it is in taste.

How to Make Lobster Bisque Soup

Easy Lobster Bisque

Creating a remarkable lobster bisque soup is a culinary journey that rewards the senses with each step. There are so many different recipes available on the internet on how to cook lobster bisque. Here we offer you a simplified version of a recipe you can try at home:


  • 2 cups cooked lobster meat, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups seafood or lobster stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chives for garnish


  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté until tender.
  • Stir in the minced garlic, tomato paste, and paprika, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the seafood or lobster stock, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow it to cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  • Return the soup to the pot, add the cooked lobster meat, and gently heat.
  • Pour in the heavy cream and stir until well combined. Let the soup heat through without boiling.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ladle the exquisite lobster bisque soup into bowls, garnish with fresh chives, and serve with crusty bread for a truly indulgent experience.

How to Eat Lobster Bisque


Savoring the intricate flavors of lobster bisque is a delight that engages all the senses. To fully enjoy this culinary masterpiece, follow these steps:

Appreciate the Aroma

Before taking your first spoonful, bring the bowl of lobster bisque to your nose and inhale deeply. Allow the aroma to tantalize your senses and prepare your palate for the rich flavors to come.

Sip and Savor

Take a small sip of the bisque, allowing it to coat your tongue. Close your eyes and savor the initial burst of flavors, from the delicate sweetness of the lobster to the harmonious blend of spices.

Taste the Textures

As you continue to enjoy your bisque, pay attention to the textures. The velvety smoothness of the soup is complemented by the tender morsels of lobster meat, creating a delightful interplay on your palate.

Pairing Possibilities

Lobster bisque pairs wonderfully with a variety of beverages, including a crisp white wine or a light-bodied beer. The refreshing notes of these drinks provide a perfect contrast to the richness of the bisque.

How to Cook Lobster Meat Out of the Shell

Cooking lobster meat outside its shell allows you to create versatile dishes that highlight the sweet and succulent flavors of this exquisite seafood. Here’s a simple method to cook lobster meat:


  • Fresh lobster meat, removed from the shell
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter or olive oil


  • Season the Lobster: Gently pat the lobster meat dry with a paper towel. Season it with salt and pepper to enhance its natural flavors and provide a delicate balance of taste.

Choose Your Cooking Method

How to cook lobster bisque. Grilling lobster

There are several methods to cook lobster meat, each offering its own unique appeal.


Fill a pot with water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add a pinch of salt and any desired herbs or aromatics. Carefully place the lobster meat into the simmering water and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the meat turns opaque and firm.


Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of butter or olive oil. Once the fat is hot, add the lobster meat and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until it’s cooked through and slightly golden.


Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the lobster meat with a light coating of oil or melted butter. Place the meat on the grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, creating attractive grill marks.

Serve and Enjoy

Once the lobster meat is cooked to perfection, transfer it to a plate and let it rest for a moment. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful bite. Serve the lobster meat as an exquisite main dish, in salads, pasta, or even tacos for a delightful culinary adventure.

Healthy Lobster Bisque

Elevating lobster bisque to a healthier rendition involves mindful ingredient swaps and cooking techniques that prioritize both nutrition and flavor. To embark on this wholesome culinary journey, consider using techniques such as sautéing vegetables in olive oil instead of butter, and opting for low-sodium seafood or lobster stock to control sodium levels. Embrace the goodness of almond milk or low-fat milk to achieve creaminess, while Greek yogurt can lend a luxurious texture with reduced fat content. Minimize the use of heavy cream without sacrificing indulgence, and focus on a balance of lean protein and vibrant vegetables. Enhance flavors with herbs and spices, like paprika and cayenne pepper, to reduce the need for excessive salt. By thoughtfully modifying your ingredient choices and preparation methods, you can learn how to cook lobster bisque that nourishes the body while still delighting the senses.

Easy Lobster Bisque Soup Recipe

Elevating the allure of a homemade lobster bisque need not be an intricate endeavor; instead, opt for streamlined techniques that celebrate both simplicity and flavor. Use these tips to make an easy lobster bisque. 

Start by utilizing pre-cooked lobster meat, readily available at seafood markets or even supermarkets, to save time and effort. This not only eliminates the need for cracking shells but also ensures succulent lobster morsels with minimal fuss. For the base, consider a high-quality seafood or lobster stock, which imparts a rich essence without the need for creating a stock from scratch. Additionally, employ a pre-made roux or cornstarch slurry for thickening, bypassing the need for meticulous attention to achieving the perfect consistency.

Infuse depth by sautéing aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery, lending a burst of flavor effortlessly. Opt for efficient immersion blenders to seamlessly blend the bisque, omitting the strain step for a slightly heartier texture. To maintain a luxurious creaminess while trimming down on fat, opt for light cream or milk alternatives, which harmoniously complement the flavors without the need for heavy cream. Garnish your creation with fresh herbs or chives for an elegant finishing touch that ties together the easy-to-make yet exquisitely delectable lobster bisque. With these simplified steps, indulging in the opulence of lobster bisque becomes an accessible reality, a testament to the seamless fusion of convenience and culinary delight within the comfort of your own kitchen.

What to Serve With Lobster Bisque

sourdough bread

Pairing harmonious accompaniments with your lobster bisque can elevate the dining experience to new heights. A crusty baguette or artisanal bread, warm from the oven and lightly brushed with olive oil, provides a delightful contrast in texture. Its crisp exterior gives way to a tender interior that’s perfect for sopping up every last drop of the velvety bisque. For those seeking a more substantial pairing, a garden-fresh salad offers a refreshing balance. A medley of mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers, drizzled with a zesty vinaigrette, complements the bisque’s richness with its vibrant and crisp elements, adding a burst of color and a medley of flavors to the dining tableau.

To truly embrace the decadence of a gourmet experience, consider introducing another touch of seafood. Grilled shrimp skewers or seared scallops, dressed in a complementary sauce or marinade, offer succulent bites that enhance the maritime symphony of the lobster bisque. The interplay of flavors between the delicate seafood and the bisque’s opulent depths creates a harmonious duet that dances on the palate. By thoughtfully curating these pairings, you ensure that every mouthful becomes a culinary masterpiece, inviting guests to savor a symphony of textures and tastes that celebrate the rich tapestry of flavors in the lobster bisque.


Pair Wine With Lobster Bisque

pouring wine

Pairing the exquisite nuances of lobster bisque with a well-chosen white wine is a journey into gastronomic delight. A crisp and refreshing Chardonnay with its subtle notes of citrus and hints of buttery oak can create a harmonious contrast, cutting through the bisque’s richness while enhancing its delicate flavors. The wine’s acidity acts as a palate cleanser, ensuring each spoonful of bisque is met with renewed zest. Alternatively, a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc offers a burst of tropical and herbal aromas that playfully dance alongside the bisque’s intricate layers. Its lively acidity contributes a lively interplay, elevating the dining experience to a symphony of sensations where the bisque’s opulence meets the wine’s vivacious charm.

For those who venture into uncharted territory by pairing red wine with lobster bisque, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can reveal unexpected delights. With its red fruit flavors and subtle earthiness, the Pinot Noir provides a gentle counterpoint to the bisque’s velvety texture. This unconventional pairing creates a intriguing dialogue where the wine’s nuanced character mingles with the bisque’s depth, leading to a unique and memorable tasting experience. As the flavors intermingle on the palate, a Pinot Noir can add a layer of complexity, inviting connoisseurs to explore the boundaries of taste. While traditionally unexpected, this pairing can surprise and delight those seeking to create a symphony of flavors that pushes culinary boundaries.

NA Options

For those who choose not to indulge in alcoholic beverages, there are equally delightful and sophisticated options to enhance the lobster bisque experience. A sparkling elderflower or ginger mocktail presents a refreshing alternative, combining the effervescence of soda water with the delicate floral or zesty notes of elderflower or ginger. This non-alcoholic pairing adds a layer of complexity to each spoonful of bisque, providing a burst of flavor that harmonizes with the dish’s rich and nuanced profile. The effervescence of the mocktail serves as a palate cleanser, ensuring that every bite of bisque is greeted with renewed vibrancy. This thoughtfully crafted mocktail elevates the dining experience, catering to non-drinkers while celebrating the intricate symphony of flavors within the lobster bisque.


Lobster Bisque at Home

Whether you’re seeking a traditional masterpiece, a health-conscious twist, or a simplified delight, our recipes empower you to create lobster bisque magic in your kitchen. So don your apron. Gather your ingredients. And let the symphony of flavors transport you to a realm of indulgence as you prepare the best lobster bisque.


Crab House on PIER 39

crab House dining room people eating

Nestled on Pier 39, Crab House is a seafood haven that beckons to all the seafood lovers. While our culinary treasures span a diverse spectrum, lobster bisque does not grace our menu. Seafood lovers fear not, for an exquisite array of seafood delights awaits. Our pièce de résistance lies in our unparalleled mastery of killer crab.

This is some of the BEST tasting crab, also known as dungeness crab. It is tantalizingly drenched in our closely guarded secret garlic sauce. Picture local Dungeness crab, sizzling atop our signature skillets, offering a symphony of flavors that dance on the taste buds. Check out our blog on What Does Dungeness Crab Taste Like to get a full idea! It’s a culinary voyage designed for the epicurean explorer. An adventure brimming with zest and zest, celebrating the essence of seafood in all its glory. If you’re curious about the different types of seafood we offer at crab house make sure to check out this linked article! 

At Crab House, lobster bisque may be absent, yet our menu promises a sumptuous medley of oceanic treasures. Not to mention, we have an incredible view of the Bay. Some even say we are the best waterfront restaurant in San Francisco. We also serve 100% sustainable seafood. This is a testament to our unwavering dedication to crafting an exceptional dining experience for the food connoisseur. We can’t wait to welcome you in for a taste of San Francisco. 

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