Lobster bisque
Place of originFrance
Main ingredientsCrustaceans (lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp or crayfish), rice

Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth (coulis) of crustaceans.[1] It can be made from lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp, or crayfish. The French bisque is one of the most popular seafood soups around the world.

The term "bisque" is also used to refer to cream-based soups that do not contain seafood, in which the pre-cooked ingredients are pureed or processed in a food processor or a food mill. Common varieties include squash, tomato, mushroom, and red pepper.[2]


It is thought the name is derived from Biscay, as in Bay of Biscay.[3]


Bisque is a method of extracting flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Julia Child even remarked, "Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don't want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing themselves down the drain."[4] Bisques are thickened with rice, which can either be strained out, leaving behind the starch, or pureed during the final stages.

See also


  1. ^ The Academie Française Dictionary defines a bisque as: "BISQUE n. Potage fait d'un coulis de crustacés. Une bisque de homard, d'écrevisses." ("Soup made from a crustacean coulis, e.g. lobster or crawfish bisque.")
  2. ^ Mitzewich, John. "Tomato Bisque – Soup Might Not Count as a Meal, but Bisque Certainly Does". Food Wishes. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  4. ^ Child, Julia; Simone Beck (1970). Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-40152-2.