I was born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Every year when lobster season would open my Grampie would go down to the docks where the fishermen were hauling in their lobsters traps and pick up 2 dozen lobster for our annual opening season feast. My Nana would set up a long table outside layered with newspaper. Dishes of white vinegar and clarified butter were scattered about the table, stainless steel bowls for the shells and tools for extracting and taking apart the lobster shells. My whole family would gather as my Grampie set a large pot, salted like the sea on a propane burner outside as we stood around eagerly anticipating our first lobster. It was almost a right of passage to be able to take apart your own lobster, you needed to work quick if you wanted to enjoy more than one.
When my parents moved to Ontario the tradition didn't end. When lobster season came around my Grampie would send in a white styrofoam cooler 2 dozen lobster for us to enjoy, and to make us feel like home. Left over lobster would be used to make traditional lobster rolls. The recipe for this soup was something my mom created for a dinner party she hosted as a way to put a unique spin on a creamed seafood soup. She wanted something that would be impressive to her guest still using ingredients that were in abundance for her growing up.
Curry Pot of Seafood Soup
300ml 35% Cream
50g Diced Shallots
3 cloves pureed Garlic
60g Curry Paste
1L Vegetable Stock
40ml Dry White Wine
480g Cooked Lentils
420g Sea Scallops
1.5lb Lobster cooked, shelled and cut up
Tender flake Puff Pastry
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a deep sautoir pan on a stove top. Add butter and melt to foam. Add Diced shallots simmer till translucent. Add garlic cook briefly and careful not to burn the garlic.
Deglaze the pan with dry white wine
Create a divide in the pan, add the mussels in one half of the pan and the scallops in the other half.
Cook till the scallops have browned slightly and the mussel shells have opened. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a low boil, return to simmer and add curry paste stirring to incorporate. Add cooked lentils.
Heat cream in separate sauce pan to temperature of soup so as not to seperate when added. Let simmer while you prepare the puff pastry topper.
Roll our the puff pastry to around a two loonie stack.
Using your tete lion soup bowl as a guide cut around leaving enough to hang and tuck over the edge of your soup bowl. Cut or poke the centre of the pastry before placing it on top of the bowls.
Right before you you ladle the soup into the bowl add the cooked lobster.
Cover the bowls with the prepared puff pastry, place on a baking sheet in the oven.
Cook the puff pastry for around 20-25 minutes till it rises and is a golden brown, careful not to open the oven as the pastry may deflate.
When finished remove soup from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
The soup has a stunning presentation and as you break through the puff pastry shell you discover all these wonderful delights from the sea. Chunks of lobster, scallops and mussels. Eating it is like an adventure into what you are going to discover next. The flavours are rich and slightly spicy aromatic as the scents escape from the pastry shell. The soup is a perfect starter, yet hearty enough to stand on its on. Enjoy!