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There’s More to Bisque Than Lobster: 5 Non-Traditional Recipes

Homemade Tomato Basil Bisque Soup in a white bowl next to some toast.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Have you ever taken a spoonful of a lusciously rich soup that is perfectly smooth and full of flavor? If your bells aren’t ringing, you probably haven’t tried bisque, and there’s no better time than now.

Perhaps you have tried a lobster or crab bisque and remember the incredibly creamy consistency it had to offer. An authentic bisque is a soup made with shellfish, mirepoix, and cream, and thickened with ground shellfish shells or rice. In recent years, “bisque” has been used to describe pretty much any creamy soup, but that’s not necessarily accurate.

This brings us to a category of soups we like to call “non-traditional bisque recipes.” Butternut squash bisque is trendy, but have you ever thought of making one with cauliflower or roasted red pepper? Why not try them all? Here are our five favorites.

Best Overall: Butternut Squash Bisque

A bowl of butternut squash bisque.
All Recipes

Butternut squash is a sweet, nutty-tasting winter fruit that makes an excellent side dish for fall holidays, like Thanksgiving. When you puree it into a bisque, you experience an entirely new meal that will surely please the whole family.

Use this bisque recipe to make the perfect meal for a crisp fall day. All the ingredients are vegetarian, too, so it would make a great Meatless Monday meal. You’ll love how all the ingredients come together to create a flawlessly smooth soup.

Get the Recipe: All Recipes

Healthiest: Loaded Southwestern Roasted Cauliflower Bisque

A bowl of southwestern bisque topped with jalapeno, cheese, pico de gallo, and a sour cream drizzle.
No Spoon Necessary

Here’s another excellent example of taking a thickening agent to another level with cannellini beans. The creator of this recipe also uses multiple southwestern-style ingredients, like pico de gallo and cilantro, which make this bisque one of our favorite non-traditional versions.

Why serve bisque with warm crusty bread when you can have it with tortilla chips instead? This smooth, nutritious bisque is packed with flavor and only has 115 calories per serving. If you’re looking for something light, this is it!

Get the Recipe: No Spoon Necessary

Best Rendition of Tomato Soup: Tomato Bisque

A bowl of tomato bisque garnished with a cream drizzle and chopped bacon.
Food Network

A can of tomato soup and grilled cheese is a classic comfort-food meal. But what if we told you we found a fancy version of that childhood meal you so enjoy?

The onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes puree perfectly together and taste great with the garlic and fresh herbs in this recipe. You might never go back to the canned stuff.

Now, how about a fancy version of grilled cheese? Take a few slices of fresh farmer’s bread and add fresh mozzarella, fresh sharp cheddar, and maybe even a little asiago cheese.

Get the Recipe: Food Network

Best Vegan Option: Roasted Vegetable Bisque

A bowl of vegan bisque
Bites of Wellness

Yes, this recipe is vegan, but we should probably also mention it’s paleo, Whole30, and dairy- and grain-free, too. So, if this one meets your dietary needs, this recipe is a must-try.

What’s excellent about this soup, is you get to pick which vegetables you want to add. Whether that’s zucchini, carrots, or sweet potato, you’ll love the sweet taste of pureed goodness because you chose the ingredients. Don’t worry, though, this recipe is easy to follow, and the author gives great recommendations.

Get the Recipe: Bites of Wellness

Best Roasted Vegetable Bisque: Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Bisque

Tomato bisque with bits of bread and basil on top in a bowl.
Girl Gone Gourmet

Here’s another excellent version of tomato bisque. The sweet roasted pepper pureed with tomatoes, and the other fresh herbs and vegetables make this recipe great on its own. Just add a little fresh cream and vegetable stock, and it’s ready for the blender before you know it.

The homemade crouton and blue-cheese-crumble topping take this bisque to the next level!

Get the Recipe: Girl Gone Gourmet

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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