Bisque is a smooth, creamy and rich highly seasoned soup of French origin, made from pureed shellfish. It popularly made from Crayfish, lobster or crab. White wine and/or Cognac and cream, is often added to the soup.
In an authentic bisque, the shells of the fish are also ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Making bisque, was a way of using imperfect shellfish not pretty enough, to be marketed.
Bisque is traditionally served in a two-handled cup on a saucer, or in a mug. The soup is garnished with finely diced shellfish flesh.
The word was originally used to describe a highly spiced dish of boiled meat or game.(Larrouse Gastronomique).
Other Cream Based Soups
The word Bisque is also used to refer to pureed, cream based soups, made from squash, tomato, mushroom or red pepper.