Cream soups add a warm touch to any cool-weather occasion. These soups involve many of the same procedures and ingredients as others: aromatics, broth, vegetables, or seafood, but with an enrichment of cream.
In my experience, a bisque (“twice cooked”) usually refers to a cream soup containing seafood such as shrimp, crawfish, or lobster, though some tomato cream soups fall into the category.
If you happen to be a domestic deity and have homemade stock on hand, then by all means use it; if not, use a quart of store-bought. Add a cup of diced onion, celery, and carrot along with a few pinches of thyme and parsley. Let it sweat on a low heat for about an hour or so. Strain and set aside.
Make a light roux with a ½ stick of butter and a quarter cup of plain flour. Drizzle into the stock and mix with a whip until it begins to thicken. Add a cup of whole cream and about two cups of your choice of prepared meats or vegetables.
Let soup rest off heat before serving with a little swirl of butter. This recipe makes about about six 12-oz. servings.