Food & dining

Recipe for lobster bisque

Valerie Ryan for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

3medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¼ pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2Armenian or pickling cucumbers
1large leek, white portion only, cut into 2-inch lengths
24white or yellow pearl onions
¼cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2ribs celery, finely chopped
¼teaspoon sweet paprika
¾cup dry sherry
2cups chicken stock
2bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
1cup water
5sprigs fresh thyme, tied
together with kitchen twine
2bay leaves
1cup heavy cream
1pound cooked lobster meat, cut into 2-inch pieces
1medium tomato, finely chopped (for garnish)
½bunch chives, finely snipped (for garnish)
¼cup fresh parsley leaves (for garnish)

1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, a large pinch of salt, and water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and partially cover the pan. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Drain into a colander and set aside.

2. Slice the rounded sides off the cucumbers to create rectangular blocks. Cut the blocks into -inch thick slices, then stack the slices and cut into even matchsticks. Cut the leek sections in half lengthwise. Slice into matchsticks.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cucumbers and cook 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cucumbers to the ice bath. When cool, drain and set aside.

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4. Return the water to a boil. Add the onions and cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel the onions by pinching the pointed ends to remove the skins.

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5. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until browned. Add the leeks, celery, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook 5 minutes more.

6. Add the sherry and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the stock, clam juice, water, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and partially cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaves.

7. Stir in the cream, potatoes, cucumbers, and lobster. Cook for 5 minutes, or until hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

8. Ladle into shallow bowls, garnish with tomatoes, chives, and parsley. Valerie Ryan