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Bistro 607 Lobster Bisque

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 t. thyme
2 bay leaves
4 lobster bodies (see Note)
3 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. brandy
2 quarts heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, 5 to 7 minutes until onion softens. Add lobster bodies and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 7 to 10 minutes, until lobster shells turn red.

Remove bay leaves and lobster shells. Crack shells if necessary, pick off any lobster meat and return it to the bisque.

Pass bisque through a food mill, or puree in food processor. Return bisque to saucepan and bring just to a boil.

If cooking over a gas flame, briefly remove pan from flame. Add brandy and return to burner. Carefully ignite brandy to flambé the bisque. When flame dies out, add cream. Bring to a boil and cook until desired thickness is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bistro 607 uses commercially available lobster bodies without the tail. The home cook will probably have to buy whole lobsters. Remove tails, and use bodies for this recipe. Reserve tails for another use (they freeze well) or cook them, shred meat and use to garnish bisque.

Makes 8 servings.

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