Lobster and shrimp soup

February 22, 2010  •  Category:


In the late nineties, Andrea Bocelli came to Lebanon to perform inBeit Eddine, a historic palace in the Shouf mountains. My dad, who never missed a concert with opera in it, invited us to join him.  I was stunned to hear the audience, composed mainly of twenty  year-olds, singing along  in Italian, at the top of their lungs, all of Bocelli’s opera songs!

Here is a simple fish soup to which I added some pizzazz with lobster and shrimp. I just get excited about these two and not so much about plain fish, not you? It is easy too, the fishmonger will graciously kill the lobster for you and  split its carcass in half. So what is left? make the stock!

This soup has tahiniin it. So if you hate the taste of tahini, sorry, this is not for you. Tahini in Lebanese cuisine is what crème fraîcherepresents to the French; it is fundamental! Used both for savory and sweet things.

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

  • 1 lobster (about 2 pounds in weight)
  • 1 pound of shrimp (large)
  • 1 pound of tomatoes
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of mashed garlic
  • olive oil

Spice mix: 1/2 teaspoon of each of: saffron, cardamom, paprika or cayenne, black pepper; salt, to taste.

  • peel of an orange
  • tahini, 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Seville orange juice (or lemon)
  • chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Ask the fishmonger to steam the lobster and separate the flesh from the carcass and cut the carcass in half lengthwise. You want the head to be opened up because it is where the flavor is.
  2. Dice carrot, celery and onion. Mash the garlic in a mortar with a dash of salt.
  3. Assemble all the dry spices. Juice the oranges or lemons. Boil the tomatoes for 15 seconds and peel and dice them or use a can of diced tomatoes.
  4. Peel the shrimps: keep the peels aside to use for the stock and leave the shrimps in a bowl of cold water in the fridge.
  5. Peel the orange and set the peel aside.
  6. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pan. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook gently for about 10 minutes. Add the lobster carcass, making sure the head is facing the oil and vegetable mixture. Fry the lobster carcass for a few minutes until the fragrance is wafting out of the pan. Add the shrimp peels and about 8 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble up gently for about 30 minutes.

Take a break!

NOTE: Don’t forget to stir the tahini before pouring, to  mix the oil and the paste thoroughly.

  1. Strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl. Heat the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and add the diced tomatoes and all the  dry spices. Fry for 3 minutes until fragrant. Cover with the lobster and shrimp stock, add the orange peel, garlic and cover. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  2. Uncover the pan. Add the orange juice and tahini (you can also mix the two well beforehand). Then, use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree the sauce until it looks smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the raw shrimps to the stock and let them cook in it for about 5 minutes till they turn pink.
  4. Add the cooked lobster, previously cut in smaller pieces.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


21 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Nathalie says:

    Cette soupe est merveilleuse … quelles belles couleurs … je ferme les yeux et j’imagine les saveurs de cette soupe. Divine ! Merci pour le partage ! Bises

  2. peter says:

    I just bought the exact same brand of Tahini, we’re eating the same thing…lobster too!

    C’mon Joumana, you know you want to steam/boil the lobster yourself…show the love! 😉

  3. Rosa says:

    A beautiful soup! I love your bowl



  4. Sushma Mallya says:

    such an attractive bowl of soup…really very beautiful and so delicious…

  5. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A spectacular soup! I love the addition of tahini here!

  6. Priya says:

    Very rich and delicious soup..delicious!!

  7. Barbara says:

    First of all, that’s really a gorgeous bowl in the first photo. Is is Juliska? And the clay bowl is lovely too.
    And finally, this is a great recipe. Almost like an etouffee minus the crawfish!

  8. Juliana says:

    Wow, what a nice soup…lobster and shrimps! Will get some tahini next time I see it in the store…love new ideas and ingredients to play in my kitchen 🙂

  9. Doria says:

    Merci beaucoup pour cette savoureuse soupe.
    C’est une réèlle nouveauté pour moi et cela me plait beaucoup !
    Je te souhaite une très bonne soirée,
    Bisous, Doria

  10. Faith says:

    What an elegant soup! It looks delicious and I love the beautiful bowls that you presented it in. The flavor sounds really fantastic with the flavor of tahini.

  11. sweetlife says:

    what a lovely and delish bowl of soup!!


  12. Joanne says:

    Anyone who doesn’t like tahini is seriously insane. The more the better in my opinion! Looks delicious.

  13. Lori says:

    This looks delicious. I love your collage of the preparation.

    I just love tahini. Anything with tahini in it- you know is going to be good.

  14. Recipe man says:

    thanks for the lovely comment,
    im found out about this website only lately
    and it is great!


  15. yasmeen says:

    I first heard the opera star on sesame street’s elmo lullaby :D. I love tahini in soups and gravies,sounds so delish with seafood.

  16. Julie says:

    Voici une soupe digne d’un grand restaurant! Ca m’a juste l’air délicieux!
    C’est qu’on doit se régaler chez toi.
    Gros bisous!

  17. Miriam says:

    I love tahini! I just bought a jar of organic tahini… such a wonderful combination here.

  18. Arlette says:

    A fresh new blog look…..
    Andreas is awesome any time …
    Love your soup , something I can make during Lent..
    Thanks for sharing….

    when are you going back to Beirut??? I will give you our home phone number , my two sisters will be more than happy to help you, in case you need anything.

  19. spice says:

    Love lobster but never made seafood into soup, love the one you have made, specially liked the bowl in the bottom pic, is it terracotta(look so earthy)…

  20. TastyTrix says:

    I have not seen these flavors combined in a soup, I am very intrigued. But it all makes perfect sense when I taste it in my head, I just never would have thought of this. For us broke freelancers, how would it work with just the shrimp and no lobster?

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