The name is applied to a class of soups thickened into closer consistency than broth by the addition of minced meat and crumbs. When well made, they are popular at family dinners, and some kinds - such as oyster and lobster bisque - are admirable at dinner parties.
Care must be observed to keep the ingredients well together, and to season judiciously. Insipid panada is not a bisque. Still less is a "mess" compounded, not wisely, but so well as to remind one of a poultice.
Drain the liquor from a quart of oysters and make of it a quart of liquid by adding cold water. Into this stir the oysters, chopped fine, and put all into a porcelain-lined saucepan over the fire. Cook very gently for twenty minutes. Have heated a quart of milk, in which a pinch of soda has been dissolved, and half a cupful of cracker-crumbs, soaked. Cook together in a saucepan two tablespoonfuls of butter and two of flour. When they are perfectly blended pour upon them the quart of thickened boiling milk and stir until as smooth and thick as cream. Turn into this the oyster soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly pour a cupful of the soup upon the beaten yolks of two eggs, stirring constantly. When mixed, return the soup with the blended yolks to the saucepan, stir and pour at once into a heated tureen.
Two cupfuls of lobster meat, minced fine; one quart of boiling water and the same of milk; half a cupful of butter and a cupful of fine cracker-crumbs; paprika or cayenne and salt to taste; a tea-spoonful of flour.
Rub the coral and a quarter of the meat to a paste;leave this in enough boiling water to cover it for half an hour. Then put the reserved chopped lobster into a saucepan, with the cracker-crumbs and half the butter; stir in the hot water and coral, etc., with the rest of the quart of boiling water. Cook gently half an hour in a double boiler after the water in the outer vessel begins to boil hard. Stir often. In another saucepan heat the milk (with a bit of soda) and the rest of the butter worked up with the flour. Boil one minute. Turn the lobster into the tureen; stir in the hot milk and serve at once.
Is made in the same way.
Thirty clams; one cupful of milk and half as much cream, or two cupfuls of milk; two tablespoonfuls of butter and one of flour; three eggs; a tablespoonful of onion juice; one cupful of boiling water; a pinch of soda in the milk; one cupful of cracker-crumbs.
Chop the clams and put over the fire in the boiling water. Simmer half an hour. Heat milk and cream in another saucepan with the soda and crumbs. Stir in the roux, boil one minute and pour gradually, beating all the time, upon the yolks, previously whipped smooth. Heat in a double boiler for two minutes, or until the water in the outer vessel boils hard, and turn into the tureen. Season the boiling mince of clams with salt, cayenne and minced parsley, add to the milk in tureen and cover the surface with the whites of the eggs beaten to a standing froth.
In serving, dip the ladle deep into the bisque, but see that each plate is mantled by the meringue.