2 lobster tails
2 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon roughly chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 cups shellfish or lobster stock
1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
2 teaspoons flour
salt and white pepper to taste
creme fraiche or truffle oil to garnish (optional)
sautéed lobster meat to garnish (optional)
1. Use kitchen shears to cut lengthwise through the top of each lobster shell. Flip the tail over and cut lengthwise through the underside. Use the cuts in the shells to use your cutting through the lobster meat, cutting the tail in half lengthwise with the meat still in the shells. Cut each half crosswise into several chunks, then rinse the lobster under cold water and remove any visible veins.
2. In a dutch oven or large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped tails and cook until the shells are bright red (about 3-5 minutes). Add the shallots, celery, and carrots, and cook until softened (5-7 minutes). Stir in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until fragrant.
3. Pour in the sherry, then increase the heat to high and simmer until almost all of the liquid had evaporated (3-5 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, tarragon, paprika and thyme followed by the lobster or shellfish stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
4. Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve and return the liquid to the pot. Place the solids in a heavy duty blender and process until smooth. Add the puree back to the Dutch oven, then bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.