Creamy, comforting, yet wholesome, this Pumpkin Bisque is the perfect cold weather dish to warm you up and leave you feeling satisfied.
Soups, Stews, & Everything In Between
Normally, when one hears 'bisque', seafood comes to mind. Lobster bisque was my favorite growing up (and still is) because I loved how rich it was. It was the perfect comfort food to me.
In fact for most of my formative years, I thought that's what differentiated bisque from soup. Well, of course as I got older and I learned the truth and all the small particulars that set soups, stews, bisques, and chowders, apart.
- Soup (zuppa!) - A stock-based dish that can be clear or creamy but usually high in liquid content. It can contain meat, fish, and/or vegetables. It also cooks up quicker than its counterparts.
- Stews - Hearty and somewhat brothy, the amount of liquid in stews is what sets these two apart mainly as well as their consistency. Stews features significantly less broth and a chunky base (think Beef Bourguignon). Furthermore, the longer you let soup simmer and reduce, the more likely it is to become a stew.
- Bisque - Originating from France, this variation is smooth, creamy, and highly seasoned. Both bisques and chowders were developed in fishing villages which is why most commonly today, you'll find seafood bisques and chowders. It achieves its creaminess from a starch, usually rice that is then strained, and once those ingredients are cooked down, it is then pureed for a smooth consistency.
- Chowders - Creamy, rich, but not so smooth. Chowders have chopped ingredients for a chunky, hearty final result. A thickening agent or creams, usually give chowders their richness.
For today's recipe, we chose an in-demand seasonal ingredient that is accessible, affordable, and versatile- pumpkin.
This recipe features other hearty ingredients like carrots and potatoes alongside the squash. We seasoned it with winter's warm herbs like rosemary and sage, salt and pepper for good measure, and saigon cinnamon- a warm but spicy type of cinnamon.
The recipe comes together surprisingly quickly. Once everything is cooked down and simmering, use an immersion blender to smooth it out into a creamy result. NOTE: if you don't have an immersion blender, you can certainly use a stand blender, but allow the soup to cool a bit first.
To serve, I suggest either topping it with some grated cheese, toasted pepitas, a dollop of sour cream, or just a sprinkling of your favorite herbs as I did. Flatbreads or a sliced Artisan loaf perfectly completes the meal too.
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