Seafood Bisque

This is a totally cool and fabulous soup; it is also a darn smart way to get 'picky eaters' to eat something healthy. Eating right is often a necessity after any type of stomach or intestinal upset. Soup is brain food and this will hit you right between the eyes.

Yield about 12-14 cups (keeps beautifully in the freezer. Remember to let it cool covered and then package and place in the freezer removing as much air from the containers as possible)

2 BIG lobster tails, 6 oz and over.
I lb. of RAW with shells shrimp - this is where you save money doesn't matter what kind of shrimp; we are using them to bulk up the soup.
I lb. of crab meat - there are often deals on crab meat but if there isn't you can use tinned crab but I don't recommend it.
1 onion
Celery heart
5-6 cloves
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns Olive oil 3-6 Tablespoons
Half a cup seasoned flour(=add ground salt and pepper)
3 cups heated milk
Half a teaspoon Nutmeg or a good shaving from the nutmeg nut!
1 cup hot but not boiling cream
Minced parsley fresh
Paprika pinch

Assemble the sea food. In a wrought iron saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, dice the celery and saute them off. They should be transparent. Set them aside.

Measure 8 cups of bottled or purified water into a large pot. Add the cloves and peppercorns and bay leaf, sea salt or coarse ground salt. Bring to the boil. Throw everything with a shell into the boiling water. When they float, pluck them out with tongs and let them cool on a platter. Lower the heat on the seafood stock, peel the shells off the seafood and put the shells back into the stock to simmer.

While the shells are coming back to the boil, cut up all the seafood. If the shrimp are small; cut them in half so they just look like little pink dots. If they are big shrimp cut them in perfect bite-sized chunks. For the crab & lobster, get a very sharp knife and slice the meat thinly so you have PLENTY of crab & lobster throughout the bisque.

Crank up the heat on the onions and celery. Sprinkle a quarter of a cup of seasoned flour . Use your whisk and stir the flour into the olive oil and onions and celery mixture. If it moves too freely add a little more flour. (Climate and altitude are the reasons for variation in measurement!) When you are rolling clumped vegetables with flour around in the pan, you are at the perfect point; this part is tricky. Not difficult, just tricky.

We thicken a sauce in this manner because of the way it makes it taste. It tastes great because you almost toast the flour; you don't just put the flour in and goo it up with the olive oil. Drag the mixture over the pan until you can smell the wheat flour toasting. Crank up the heat - you really do need a big wrought iron saute pan.

Drain the shells out of your stock. Add 1 cup fish stock and allow the sauce to build; this means standing with whisk in your hand stirring gently.

Don't get bored and rush the binding process. I assure you binding the soup is a lovely little touch. When it's really thick and starting to stick to the bottom, pour in another cup of fish stock. Proceed in this manner binding and stirring until you have all the stock mixed into our original roux.

Now it's time to change pots because this is going to be voluminous when assembled. In your big stock pot, place the thickened stock and roux plus 3 cups heated milk and the nutmeg, stir. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then add the seafood. Turn off the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes then add the cup of hot cream. Stir the cream and the seafood through the mixture and serve garnished with parsley and paprika.