Lobster Pumpkin and Corn Bisque

Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1 pound lobster

For the past two years, area chef Jon Cowan has won first place honors at the Annual Low Country Soup Challenge, a regional competition first organized in 1992 to benefit Volunteers in Medicine, a non-profit clinic founded by Dr. Jack McConnell to benefit the medically underserved in the Hilton Head Island community. Cowan's Lobster Pumpkin and Corn Bisque (pictured) took first place in 2006, followed by last year's Shrimp and Oyster Bisque. The 17th Annual Low Country Soup Challenge is scheduled to take place Jan. 11, at Hilton Head Island's Mall at Shelter Cove.

4 tablespoons butter

1 small diced carrot

1-2 stalks celery, diced

1 small diced onion

3 stalks green onion, sliced

4 chopped garlic cloves

2 chopped shallots

1/2 cup cognac

1/2 cup white wine

8 cups water

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup flour

1 cup medium diced pumpkin

1 cup corn kernels

Cook lobster in boiling water. Remove lobster from water, remove meat and reserve shells. Melt half the butter in pan, add lobster shells and cook until shells are a little brown. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic and shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add alcohol and bubble for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and water. Let simmer for 1 hour. Strain all ingredients through strainer, reserving stock and discarding what is left in the strainer. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter and add flour to make a roux. Add the lobster stock to the roux and cook until soup thickens. Add lobster meat, pumpkin, corn and cream and continue to simmer until lobster is heated through and vegetables are tender.

Serves 8.

Kitchen Ade note: If soup is made ahead of time, it should be kept chilled at 40 degrees, and reheated to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees. To use a fresh pumpkin as a soup tureen, choose a medium-size pumpkin, with stem intact. Wash and rinse pumpkin. With a heavy knife, cut off top third of pumpkin, which will serve as the "lid." Scoop seeds and string from the pumpkin and rinse clean. Before filling the hollowed-out pumpkin with soup, we can thank Steve Lawson, club manager for The Plantation Club (at The Landings), on Skidaway Island, Ga., for his excellent recommendation of blanching both halves of the pumpkin for five minutes before using.

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