VANILLA SCENTED CARROT SOUP WITH MASCARPONE
AND MAINE LOBSTER


Back Bay Grill | 65 Portland St., Portland, Maine | Chef Larry Matthews, Jr.
 

This is a great spring or summer appetizer. Everything can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute. This will pair well with almost any nice white wine. I really enjoy an Alsatian white with this simple and fresh tasting lobster and vanilla combination.

Serves 8
3 C diced carrots (5 large carrots)
2 C fresh carrot juice (6 large carrots)
1 C diced onion
2 vanilla beans
4 oz. Mascarpone
4 1 ½ lb lobsters, cooked and shucked
4 oz. grape seed oil
1 lb. Butter
chervil for garnish
As needed: water and heavy cream

For the Carrot Soup:
Juice approximately 6 large carrots for (or substitute with a high quality fresh carrot juice). Gently melt 2 oz. of the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the diced carrots and sweat for two minutes.

Cut one of the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds to the carrots along with the carrot juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. After the carrots are tender remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool, purée the soup in a blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until chilled and then adjust the consistency with water and heavy cream. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

For the lobsters:
Cook the lobsters in boiling salted water for seven minutes and then plunge them into ice water. Gently remove them from the shell and clean the vein out of the tail. Cut the tail in half lengthwise. Use on claw and one half of one tail per person. Reserve.

For the vanilla oil:
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In a small saucepan add the vanilla beans to the grape seed oil. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Allow to steep in warm place for about 1 hour. This can be done ahead of time and will keep refrigerated for weeks.

To serve:
In a wide sauté pan melt the butter and keep very warm. Add the lobster in a single layer (make sure the butter covers the lobster) allow to sit in the hot butter for about 3 minutes or until the lobster is warm.

Meanwhile, in wide 8 shallow bowls put about 2 T of marscarpone per person. Carefully ladle about 2 oz. of the chilled soup around the cheese. Arrange the lobster on top and drizzle with the vanilla oil. Garnish the top with a chervil sprig.

Serve and enjoy.
 

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