In a very large pot, render the bacon over medium heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, red peppers, and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the corn kernels, garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, Essence, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour turns the color of peanut butter, about 4 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lobster stock and cayenne, and stir well to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir well, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cream, lobster and assorted herbs, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved bacon and serve.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add the shells and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the celery, tomatoes, onion, carrot and thyme. Cut the fennel bulb in half and add to the pot. Cut the garlic head in half horizontally and add to the pot. Add enough water to cover the ingredients by about 2 inches. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 4 hours.