Citizens, Team Iceland continues its unparalleled UEFA EURO winning streak by defeating England in today’s soccer semi-final! This caused unparalleled dejection throughout Britannia as a second Brexit was thrust upon the unbelieving English spectators while elation erupted amongst the proud people of Iceland!
In celebration of the heroic Icelanders, today I give you my recipe for the delicious Icelandic humarsúpa!
Similar to an American lobster bisque, the broth for this fantastic Icelandic soup is reinforced with langoustine shells and reduced before being bolstered with cream and a delightful surprise of curry powder.
As noted on peterjanhaas.com:
…They had a very tasty lobster soup (Humarsúpa), which is made from Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) also known as langoustine. This is the only type of lobster found in the waters around Iceland. The soup had all the flavour extracted from the lobsters but had barely any flesh in it.
This is understandable since the stock has been in decline since 2005. Fishermen were unable to catch the full quota in 2017. Jónas Páll Jónasson, ichthyologist at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute: “There is no question whether lobster fishing will be banned in the near future, “it’s only a question of when it will happen.”
Crusteceans are sensitive to changing ocean conditions and rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, so there might also be a link to climate change but these animals also reproduce slowly in cold waters so despite the quota, overfishing is a factor.
Humarsúpa is basically a bisque and if you Google for recipes you will find so many variations it is hard to pick a recipe. Modern versions contain curry powder, cream, white wine and cognac.
My version of Humarsúpa uses both dill and chive flowers in place of chive as a garnish, and a mix of leek and onion plus some additional shrimp or lobster stock to really bolster the flavor!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 2 lb. shell-on whole langoustines (U5 count Shrimp (EXTRA large) can be substituted)
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, preferably Icelandic
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots, minced
- 2 stalks de-stringed celery, minced
- ½ large yellow onion, minced
- Minced white and light green parts of leek equal to onion
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 9 cups fish stock
- 3 cups shrimp or lobster stock (preferred) or use fish stock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. Madras curry powder
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp. minced dill and chive flowers
- Remove heads and shells from langoustines and lightly crush; chill tail meat until ready to use. Heat 1 tbsp. butter and the oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook shells, carrots, celery, and the onion until vegetables are soft, 6–8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, paprika, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add stock; simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Strain stock.
- Wipe pan clean and add 4 tbsp. butter; melt over medium. Cook leek and garlic until soft, 3–4 minutes. Stir in curry powder; cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup cream and the wine; cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add reserved stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Keep soup warm.
- Whip remaining cream in a bowl into semi-stiff peaks. Melt remaining butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Season langoustine tails with salt and pepper; cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 3–5 minutes. Divide soup between bowls and top with langoustines; garnish with whipped cream and dill and chive flowers.
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