Types of Soup

A soup isn't always called "soup." Here's some help to decipher some often-used names.


+ enlarge image This is Spicy Manhattan Clam Chowder.

A "soup" can be labeled one of the following:

  • A bisque is a rich, thick, smooth soup that's often made with shellfish, such as lobster or shrimp.
  • A chowder is a thick, chunky soup. Traditionally, a chowder is made with seafood or fish, but chowders made with poultry, vegetables, and cheese have become popular.
  • Stock or broth is a strained, thin, clear liquid in which meat, poultry, or fish has been simmered with vegetables and herbs. While normally used as an ingredient in other soups, it can be enjoyed as a light course on its own.
  • Bouillon is basically the same as broth, but the term refers to commercial dehydrated products sold as granules or cubes.
  • Consomme is a strong, flavorful meat or fish broth that has been clarified.
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