Bisque vs. Soup – What’s The Difference?

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Soup can work wonders during the winters; there is no other food that can compete with Soup when battling the cold nights (or days) of winters. And winters are upon us already; everyone is going out and buying instant Soup to make at home or going out to restaurants to have a hearty serving of this warm delight. 

Soups are not as straightforward as you might think they are. There are several soups with different consistency, flavor, and thickness. It might get overwhelming to differentiate one from the other, and too many options can often lead to indecision and poor judgment.

But we are here to make things easier for you (to some extent) and differentiate between Soup and one of the most famous kinds of Soup, Bisque (yes, you heard that right, Bisque is a kind of Soup). In this article, we will describe each one, tell the main differences between them, and talk about their commonalities. 

So, keep scrolling the page, sit back, and relax while enjoying this informative article. Let’s begin. 


According to popular belief, Soup was discovered around 20,000 BC in the Jiangxi Province of China, where the Chinese used pits to boil water by adding stones and applying heat. The stones increased the surface area and boiled the water much more efficiently. You can read about the whole history of Soup here if you’re interested.

The term Soup comes from the Latin Word Suppa, which means bread soaking in liquid. It wasn’t until the 1600s, when the French Integrated Soup into their cuisine, that the term soup was used; before that, it was called soupe.

Characteristics of Soup

What is the first thing that comes to mind when we mention Soup? Probably a liquid with chopped vegetables and pieces of meat served smoking hot. While being true to an extent, that image of Soup in your mind is not completely accurate. 

Soups can be of various kinds; some are thick, creamy and chunky, while others are thin, clear, and plain. Most people don’t know this, and all they have ever tasted is the same thick Soup from the same restaurant all their life. But Trust us, it is worth every penny if you go out and try various kinds of soups, you will have a wonderful experience.

Because we can tell you all about the differences between the kinds of soups, but until you taste them, you won’t feel the actual difference between them. But in any case, the plain or clear soups use minimal ingredients and are generally made with Broth (not Consomme, check out this article to find out the difference between the two). On the other hand, thick Soups are made with thickening agents like cream, cheese, rice, or grains. 

There are different methods of making soups, and you can cook the Soup on various kitchenware. It all depends on your personal preference and patience because, in some methods, you have to wait quite a bit. Check out this website if you’re interested in knowing ways of making Soups. 

Types of Soups 

As we’ve discussed, Soups are available in different consistencies, flavors, and thicknesses. Here is a short description of each one:

Thin Soups: These are made using Consomme (Passed Soup) or Broth (unpassed Soup). Thin soups are usually clear and have no thickening agents added. They’re great for people with swallowing problems like dysphagia or people who don’t like thick consistency in their food. 

Thick Soup: Thick Soups have thickening agents added to them to increase their density. This type of Soup is opaque instead of transparent. You can further categorize thick soups into five categories: Bisque, Cream, Chowder, Puree, and Veloute. 


Bisque is most popular for its thick, creamy, and bold flavor. The French developed it, and they are known for making the top quality food we all love. The main characteristic of Bisque is that you use seafood for meat if you use any while making it. Seafood (fish, crab, lobster, and shrimp) is high in fat, and this high content gives the Bisque its creamy texture, along with other thickening agents and cream. 

Lobster Bisque is the most popular type of Bisque that you can get from almost any restaurant that serves Soup. But nowadays, you can get Bisque with almost every popular crustacean added to it. 

Bisques are made using heavy cream (to add that extra creamy flavor) and White wine for cutting through the cream. This combination of two different ingredients is what sets Soup apart from Bisque. Another factor that distinguishes Bisque is the amount of time needed to make Bisque, which is usually longer than other types of Soups.

Bisque is the perfect kind of Soup because it has a thick consistency that can fill you up and leave you satisfied, ad it also has a bold and concentrated flavor which can make the whole process enjoyable. It should also be noted that there are almost no solid constituents other than meat in Bisque, which means that you won’t have to chew a lot while you have your Bisque. 

So what’s the Difference Between Bisque and Soup 

Bisque and Soups vary because of several factors. Soup has its origin in China, while The French developed Bisque. Bisque has a thick creamy texture, while Soups can be thick, thin, or clear. Another factor that distinguishes the two is the time we add cream into it during cooking.

We add cream early on while making Bisque and at the last twenty to thirty minutes while making Soup, generally speaking. This timing can vary depending on the chef. Soups are also famous for having different ingredients added to them, including different types of bread, meat, and vegetables. While this is true for Bisque, the meat used in Bisque is usually that of a Crustacean. Other differences include:

  • Soup’s thickening agents are usually grains, pulses, flour, and cream, while Bisque uses heavy cream only. 
  • Soups are mostly served hot, while you can serve Bisque, either hot or cold.