Soup Vs. Bisque | Are They Similar Or Different?

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We all crave a hot and creamy bowl of soup with winter approaching. Oh wait, have you ever tried bisque? Bisque is also hot and creamy. In fact, bisque is one kind of soup only. Don’t scratch your heads now. 

Bisque and Soup

Soup has a wide variety. You can make soup with almost any and every ingredient available. On the other hand, bisque, a type of soup, has a particular flavor and texture. Many people often confuse the two, and today we are here to tell the differences.

The consistency of soup can differ, but bisque has a thick and creamy consistency, making it stand apart from other varieties of soup.

Before you go hungry for a bisque or soup, let’s discuss bisque vs. soup and unfold all the hidden facts and information. 

By the end of the discussion, you will learn the difference between these two and how you can easily make different kinds of soup and bisque at home.

Before jumping into bisque vs. soup, let’s have a look at the overall differences.

soup Vs. bisque | Difference table

Basis Of DifferenceSoupBisque
TextureLiquid and slurpyThick and creamy
Classification4 types of soup: thin soup , thick soup, cold soup and special soupA subtype of soup (thick soup)
Common IngredientsMeat , seafoods, vegetables, grains, broth, creamSeafoods, vegetables, heavy cream, broth
Nutrient ContentsProtein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and many others as per the ingredientsVitamin, iron, calcium 

What is soup?


Soup is something that gets in demand as soon as winter approaches. It is a vast category with wide varieties like broths, cream soups, stews, bisque, chowders, etc.

The ingredients added to soups also differ with the number of different varieties. Below are some famous soups.

  1. Vegetable soup
  2. Chicken soup
  3. Potato soup
  4. Chowders
  5. Bisque
  6. Chili
  7. Tortilla soup
  8. Noodle soup

The list can go on and on, as soups can have many different ingredients.

 It is believed that the soup originated in China and then spread widely worldwide. In simple layman’s language, we can say soup is a liquid with flavors. It can be served as a complete meal or can be used as a starter.

The best thing about soup is that you can make it as thin liquid or thick. You can even serve it hot or cold. So, when it comes to the taste and texture of the soup, there is no limit to it.

What is bisque?

Bisque is a kind of soup that has some specific ingredients and texture. The common ingredient used to make bisque is seafood, which is primarily lobsters. We can also find many recipes of bisque with other seafood like shrimp, crab, crayfish, etc.

Bisque originated in France, and today it is well-known in many countries. What makes bisque a bisque is its creamy and thick texture.

Bisque generally contains heavy cream and dry white wine, creating a distinct taste and texture from other soups.

soup Vs. bisque | What Are The Similarities Between The Two?

soup and bisque

Soup and bisque have few things in common. Firstly they both are in liquid form, although the consistency can vary. Apart from this, the cooking process is quite similar. Both are boiled and simmered to cook the ingredients.

We can easily use typical ingredients like cream and herbs when garnishing the soup and bisque. It is best to garnish the soup or bisque according to the main ingredients, like a chicken soup can be garnished with shredded chicken.

 Bisque Vs. Soup | Differences Between The Two?

Despite a few similarities, it is evident that all bisque is soup, but all soups are not. We will thoroughly discuss the significant differences one by one.

1. Origin

The soup originated in China. However, bisque came into existence in France first and spread across. Bisque is the most common type of soup in France and is also very popular in America. On the other hand, soup is known and cooked by almost everyone.

2. Texture

When it comes to bisque, it is a vibrant, gooey, flavorful, creamy soup. The term soup is extensive, so the texture also differs. Some soups use cream, so their texture is similar to bisque, but some soups, like chicken soup, have shredded chicken, so there is no creamy and smooth texture.

3. Ingredients

As we know, soups are made from different ingredients, but some common ones are usually used. Let’s look at the common ingredients used in soups and bisque. 

Common ingredients used in soup

  • 1. Meat of choice
  • 2. onion
  • 3. garlic
  • 4. celery
  • 5. noodles
  • 6. rice
  • 7. Vegetables
  • 8. broth
  • 9. cream
  • 10. cheese

So, some common ingredients are usually added while making soup.

Now let’s have a look at the common ingredients used in making bisque.

Common ingredients used in bisque

  • 1. Tomato paste
  • 2. Butter
  • 3. Heavy cream
  • 4. Garlic 
  • 5. Onion 
  • 6. Black pepper
  • 7. Thyme
  • 8. Dry white wine
  • 9. Stock
  • 10. Seafood or meat

If you have the above items, then you can prepare a bowl of hot bisque for yourself.

4. Classification

Soups are broadly classified into four sections: thin, thick, cold, and national/seasonal. I will walk you through these different kinds of soups briefly.

  • Thin Soup – Thin soups do not have any thickness added to them and have a noticeable texture. They are either served alone or garnished with little veggies or meat.
  • Thick Soup – As the name clearly states, the consistency of these kinds of soups is thick, and several thickening agents are used while cooking thick soup.
  • Cold Soup – Cold soups are the best option for summer. The soup contains starch, gelatin jellies, or puree to thicken it.
  • National / Seasonal Soup – National / Seasonal soup has very different ingredients depending upon the country where the soups are made. The consistency and texture could also differ accordingly.

Bisque falls under the thick soup category, and heavy cream is used as the thickening agent. We can say that bisque is a subset of soups.

Top Recipes To make with Bisque

1. Lobster bisque

Lobster bisque

Lobster bisque is one of the very popular bisque recipes. To make this, we obviously need lobsters. Along with cooked and cubed lobster meat.

Start to sauté the onions with chicken broth and cook them for 5-7 minutes. In another pan, melt some butter and gently whisk some flour until it becomes creamy.

Add some more chicken broth while whisking further. Now, add salt, sauteed onions, lobster meat, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and heavy cream to make it thicker.

Stir and cook the mixture until it starts boiling. Remove the heat right away. Serve it hot.

2. Shrimp & Crab Seafood Bisque

seafood bisque

Shrimp & crab seafood bisque is a very fancy and impressive recipe. It has rich flavors and is absolutely delicious.

Start with making the stock. Melt some butter in a pan and add shells of shrimp. Sauté the shells until they are brown. Add bouillon cubes with water and bay leaves. Bring it to a simmer and cook it for 15 min. Strain the stock and remove the shells from it. Set it aside.

Add butter to the pan, add shrimp, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook it for about 4-6 mins. Sauté the vegetables. Add garlic paprika, old bay, and cayenne, and season with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Cook it for a minute.

Add the tomato paste and cook till the paste is caramelized. Sprinkle the flour on the vegetable mixture. Add dry white wine. You can add brandy or sherry as per your choice. Cook until the wine is evaporated.

Now slowly add the stock and whisk it to avoid lumps. Cook it for 15 mins. Turn off the heat and add shrimp and the puree.

Bring the pan back to the heat and stir with some heavy cream. Add some crab meat and cook until everything is well-adjusted and soft.

Serve it with more cooked shrimp and crabs. Sprinkle some green onions to enhance the flavor.

3. Zucchini bisque

Zucchini bisque

Zucchini bisque is a very simple meal to cook. It can be served hot or cold. You can serve it with fresh bread and make a delicious meal out of it.

You need to sauté the onions and then add shredded zucchini and broth. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 mins

Make a puree using a blender and add nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 5 mins. Add cream and stir it for a while. Serve it hot or cold.

4. Tomato bisque

Tomato bisque

Tomato bisque is different from regular tomato sauce because of the added cream. It is also thicker and richer in taste.

To make tomato bisque, start with heating olive oil and cook the onions with celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, and basil.

Add garlic and stir it for a while before adding broth, tomatoes, and sugar. Cook it for 30-40 mins and blend until a smooth and creamy texture is achieved. Add in some heavy cream and serve it hot.

5. Pumpkin ginger bisque

Pumpkin ginger bisque

Pumpkin ginger bisque is a very healthy and warm meal. It is very easy to make and here’s how you can make it.

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add some garlic and shallot, cook it for a while, and let the fragrance develop. Add the butternut squash, pumpkin puree, and vegetable broth.

Stir them well and cook for a while. Then, add ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Blend everything to a smooth paste and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Garnish it with some cheese and more pepper.

Top Recipes To make with Soup

1. Creamy wild rice soup

Creamy wild rice soup

Creamy wild rice soup is a very comforting meal. It has a creamy base with rich and umami flavors. It also has a lot of veggies. Let me tell you how you can make it.

Start with making the creamy base. Place the almond milk with cashews, white beans, miso paste, and Dijon mustard in a blender and blend until it is smooth. Set it aside

In another pan, heat the olive oil and add the scallions, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and salt. Stir them well. Cook the mushrooms, and then add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cannellini beans, pepper, and water. Simmer it for a while.

Remove the thyme bundle, stir the creamy base, and add rice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and kale. Simmer and cook for a while on low heat. Garnish it with some more lemon juice, parsley, and pepper flakes. Serve it hot.

2. Potato leek soup

Potato leek soup

Potato leek soup is rich in texture and flavor. It is also pretty simple to make. Here’s how.

Heat the oil and add leeks, salt, and pepper. Sauté them well for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, stir in white wine vinegar for a few seconds, and add broth, potato, and beans.

Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 mins. When the soup cools a little bit then, blend it with olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard. Season it with pine nuts, parsley, and pepper flakes in the end.

3. Vegetarian chili

Vegetarian chili

Vegetarian chili is another easy and tasteful soup. Let’s see the complete process to make it at home. Heat the oil and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and pepper and stir it for 5-8 mins.

After this, add tomatoes, beans, water, chipotle, adobo sauce, corn, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer it on low heat for 20-25 mins until it thickens. Add lime juice and toppings of your choice.

4. White Bean Soup

White bean soup

White bean soup has a creamy yet tangy flavor which can be enjoyed during winter.

Blend the (2¼ cups) beans with ¾ cup of broth until it’s smooth. Heat the olive oil and add onion, poblano, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and stir in the green chilies, garlic, cumin, oregano, and coriander.

Add the remaining beans and broth and simmer it for 10 mins. Stir the blended beans and stir for 20 mins more. Garnish with some lime juice. You can also add other choices of toppings.

5. Tomato basil soup

Tomato basil soup

Tomato basil soup is a cozy and comforting soup made from fresh tomatoes and basil. How to make it? Let’s dig into the recipe.

Roast the tomatoes by sprinkling salt and pepper in the oven for 1 hour. Heat the oil in a pan. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and salt. Cook it until the mix is soft. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, vinegar, and thyme leaves. Simmer it for 10-15 mins.

When the soup is a little cold, blend it in a blender until it is smooth. Add the basil during this. You can garnish it with more basil and serve it with some bread.

Bisque Vs. Soup | Which is healthier?

As we all understand that bisque is a subset of soup, soup is healthier than bisque as numerous healthy ingredients are used while making a soup.

I would say that soup is healthier than bisque.

Bisque Vs. Soup | Which is tastier?

Although soup has a wide variety, on a personal note, I enjoy a thick and creamy bisque as it has the flavor of seafood and is very creamy.

It has all the required vegetables and meat/seafood, which enhance the flavor. Therefore, bisque is tastier than soup.

Bisque Vs. Soup | Which is versatile?

It is evident that soup is more versatile because it has a broad category and classification.

Many soup recipes can be modified or customized according to one’s choice. 

Bisque Vs. Soup | Which is better?

We have compared bisque and soup on many different aspects, and clearly, soup is better than bisque.

Soup has more nutrients, and there are so many recipes to make with different ingredients. Soups are consumed hot and cold, and the consistency is also manageable as per the preference.

Frequently Asked questions(FAQs)

Can we have soup in the summer?

Yes, we can enjoy cold soups in summer.

Is stew a type of soup?

Stew can be considered as a soup or can be added to the category of soup.

Is it healthy to eat soup every day?

Yes, if the ingredients used in making soup are full of nutrients, it is healthy to eat soup daily.

What is the best agent for soup thickening?

You can use mashed potatoes, cornstarch, or heavy cream to thicken the soup.


So finally, we have understood how bisque is a kind of soup but still stands apart. Soups, in general, have so many different varieties.

Bisque is also made by switching between the seafood/ meat options. While the soup is considered healthy, bisque has its own benefits.

As we are already in the winter season, we all will crave one bowl of hot and creamy soup or bisque. If this was helpful, let us know in the comments. Until then, stir and simmer your soup on low heat.

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