Langoustine bisque

The humble langoustine can be just as flavoursome as the mighty lobster, as Matt Tebbutt demonstrates in this recipe
By Matt Tebbutt
Langoustine bisque
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 50 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 3 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 tbsp thyme, leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 125 ml dry vermouth
  • 1 kg cooked langoustines, in their shells
  • 1.5 litres fish stock
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, juice only


1. Heat the butter in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat until foaming and gently fry the onion, garlic, two sprigs of tarragon, thyme, fennel seeds and the bay leaves for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions have softened.

2. Pour in the dry vermouth and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half.

3. Meanwhile peel the langoustines, reserving all the shells and heads. Add these to the pan, crushing the shells and heads with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible.

4. Cover with the fish stock and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about one hour, then strain the stock through a colander, crushing the shells with a rolling pin. Strain the stock again through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

5. Add the cream and lemon juice to the strained stock and warm through gently. Add the langoustine meat, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. To serve, ladle the bisque into bowls. Roughly chop the remaining tarragon and use to garnish the bisque.

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