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Difference between Soup and Bisque

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With the winter fast approaching, one thing that will be first demanded on the dinner table is a bowl of soup. Being one of the best remedies to the cold weather, soup is a starter that is sure to give you warmth together with filling your stomach. Not everyone has soup only in the winter; many people have it the year round due to the fact that it is healthy, not too heavy and can be made to suit the taste of almost anyone. There are different ways in which soup can be prepared and various ingredients that can be added. Throughout the world, one of the most common starter is soup with the preparation and ingredients being specific to the region where it is prepared. One of the many types of soups is bisque that originates from France. Many people, especially of the place of origin refer to any soup as bisque. This however, is not right. Bisque is a certain type of soup only and we will now point out certain important differences between bisque and soup in general. One thing that can be established by this is the fact that all bisques are soups but all soups are not bisques.

When we use the word soup, we refer to food that is in liquid form. It is usually served warm (although some exceptions are also served at room temperature or are cold). The most common ingredients used to prepare soups include meat and vegetables together with juice, water, stock and/or any other liquid(s). Soups that are hot are normally prepared by first forming a broth. This is done by boiling solid ingredients in certain liquids (traditionally in a pot). This is continued until the flavour is extracted. A traditional classification of soup types divides all the soups in two broad categories; soups that are clear and soups that are thick. On the other hand, bisque, unlike soup is not a generalized umbrella term for a number of liquid foods. Bisque is a particular type of soup that is smooth and creamy. It is a seasoned soup and has French origin. The ingredients normally used in a typical bisque are crabs, lobsters, crayfish or shrimps. Bisques are classically based on strained broths that are of crustaceans. Sometimes, creamy soups that have been prepared by using roasted and pureed fruits (or fungi) are also referred to as bisques. The word bisque has an interesting etymology; it is derived from the word Biscay or bis cuites which means being cooked twice. Traditionally, bisques are made of pureed shell fish.

An important difference between soups and bisques is that the latter have a high quantity of cream; which may be even greater than typical cream soups. Moreover if we compare a bisque to soups that have cream added (be it a cream soup or any other soup with cream), the difference is that in a bisque, the cream is added earlier in the cooking process. The cream reduces slowly and that makes the bisque thicker than any other soup. However, when the cooking process is completed, the soup gains a smooth consistency. Soups that have cream, in contrast, have the cream added at the end of the cooking process. Therefore, in these soup it is important to be wary of the risk of the soup getting too hot as that may split the cream. Furthermore, in cream soups, unlike bisques, the thickening agent is not the cream; it may be any of pasta, potatoes, rice, flour, pulse etc.

Summary of differences expressed in points

  • All bisques are soups but all soups are not bisques

 

  • Soup-food that is in liquid form, usually served warm, most common ingredients used to prepare soups include meat and vegetables together with juice, water, stock and/or any other liquid(s); Bisque- soup that is smooth and creamy, a seasoned soup, has French origin, the ingredients normally used in a typical bisque are crabs, lobsters, crayfish or shrimps, Bisques are classically based on strained broths that are of crustaceans

 

  • Bisques have more cream than soups (including cream soups)

 

  • The cream added in a bisque is added earlier in the cooking process; added later in soups

 

  • Cream acts as the thickening agent in bisques; in soups the thickening agent might be pasta, potatoes, rice, flour, pulse etc.

 


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