Bisque vs Chowder | Creamy Tomato Bisque

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Spring is here and it’s soup season! Wait, what? I know most people think soup is best served in fall and winter but warmer weather’s no reason to put soup on the back burner. I love a good soup (receipts here, here and here and I especially love tucking into steaming bowls of bisque and chowder. Or chowder and bisque. Bisque vs chowder.  What’s the difference?

Bisque vs Chowder

Traditionally bisques are soups typicallly made with shellfish cooked in a flavored liquid then pureed. Over time the shellfish requirement has loosened and any thick soup – even those without it – are sometimes referred to as bisques. Bisques are known for their thick, creamy texture and rich flavor. Chowders are also characterized by a thick consistency, but unlike bisques they’re not puréed. They’re chock full of chunky seafood, potatoes or other vegetables.

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Tomato bisque is my all-time favorite non-seafood bisque. It’s like the canned tomato soup of my youth on tomato-y steroids – super rich, super creamy, super delicious. More often than not when I make this soup I use canned diced tomatoes because my tomato  bisque craving  doesn’t always coincide with tomato season. If you’re lucky enough to have a bunch of gorgeous ripe, fresh tomatoes you can absolutely replace the canned tomatoes with fresh.

I use 2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes for a batch of this Creamy Tomato Bisque, which translates to about 4 pounds of fresh tomatoes. Dice them and save the juices, too. This makes a big batch of soup – about 8 cups – but feel free to make a half batch for a smaller crowd.

Place a kitchen towel over the lid of the blender before blending.  The towel will protect you from burns if any of the hot soup escapes the top of the blender.

Don’t let the soup boil once you’ve added the cream. If the cream gets too hot it can curdle.

Large, Heavy-Bottomed Pot

Wooden Spoon



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