Chestnut and Lobster Soup
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- 1 1 3/4- to 2-pound live lobster
- 2 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
- 3 cups vacuum-packed chestnuts* (15 to 16 ounces)
Cook lobster in pot of boiling salted water until shell turns bright red and meat is opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer lobster to large bowl; cool. Working over same bowl to catch juices, twist off claws. Cut off tail. Cut lobster meat from shells. Reserve shells; scrape out green tomalley and discard. Cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces; cover and chill.
Bring milk, 2 cups stock, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and lobster shells with any accumulated juices to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Cover; simmer 10 minutes. Strain into large bowl. Return strained liquid to pan. Add chestnuts; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. DO AHEAD Lobster and soup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.
Bring soup to simmer. Stir in Madeira. Thin with more stock, if necessary, and stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add lobster meat; sauté 1 minute to heat through.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with lobster meat. Sprinkle with minced fresh chives and serve.