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Like three-course dinner chewing gum, Cedar’s decadent lobster and white chocolate soup is a whole meal in one. Warm, sweet bisque poured over generous chunks of fresh lobster makes for a dramatic presentation. The first texture to fill your mouth is the velvety smoothness of the soup, blended with heavy cream, thyme and tarragon. Next, thrillingly large chunks of lobster, freshly plucked from the icy waters off Maine. Finally, sweet, sweet chocolate coats your taste buds because it is never too early for dessert–you can smell as well as taste it.

This unforgettable first course was a hit during Valentine’s Day, and Cedar’s Executive Chef Aaron McCloud generously shares this recipe to enjoy at home.  It’s perfect any time lobster and chocolate is in season, which is all…the…time. The only component this soup doesn’t have is a wine pairing, which Chef McCloud recommends a big, buttery, unoaked Chardonnay.

Cedar Restaurant
822 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

Cedar’s Lobster and White Chocolate Soup

2 ¼ pound Maine lobsters
1 baby turnip
32 oz lobster stock
1 baby carrot
4 large shallots
1 medium rutabaga
1 oz tarragon
1 fennel
1 oz thyme
1 red onion
A pinch of whole white peppercorns
1 oz chopped chives
4 oz Madeira wine
4 oz butter
1 quart heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean
6 oz high quality white chocolate
2 oz water

Separate the lobster claws, tails and heads. Blanche the tails for three minutes and the claws for five minutes in salted water.  Shock in ice water and set aside. Roast the heads in a sauce pot with a little olive oil. When they develop a deep red color, add the shallots, pepper and Madeira. Let the wine reduce slightly and then add the stock and herbs.  Cook at a low simmer for about 20 minutes. After the stock has developed a rich lobster flavor, add the cream and simmer for 20 more minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

At a low simmer, whisk in the chocolate.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Peel the rutabaga, turnip and carrot. With a melon baller, scoop out a few balls of rutabaga. Cut small wedges from the turnip and carrot. Dice the fennel and cut fine julienne pieces of red onion. Toss all the vegetables in good olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oven roast them until al dente.

Break the tails and claws out of their shells and poach in the vanilla-butter-water mixture at a very low temperature for a few minutes. To serve, place a few slices of tail and a claw in a bowl atop some of the roasted vegetables.  Pour the soup over the garnish at the table.