Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine yourself in a bustling Parisian restaurant. In a corner sits an accordion player, the sounds of a traditional musette filling the room. The windows are steamy from the warmth of the kitchen and outside, there’s a light snow falling on the narrow cobblestone street. There’s a bowl of bisque and a sliced baguette on the table in front of you.
When you open your eyes, you realize you aren’t in Paris – you’re in your own kitchen. Don’t be disappointed, though! You can recreate at least part of this dream with your own homemade Cheesy Asiago Bisque.
Traditionally, bisque is a cream-based soup made with shellfish and thickened with a paste made from their shells. It’s quite the process, too! As these things do, bisque has evolved into a style of a dish more so than a specific recipe. While you’ll still find plenty of lobster bisque in restaurants, you’ll also find bisques made with vegetables like pumpkin or tomato, or with other meats.
This version is just as thick and rich as any bisque, but without the shellfish or the intensive hours of cooking. There’s plenty of butter, a full bulb of roasted garlic, and the heavy cream you would expect from a bisque. And it will still take you about 20 minutes or so to get this going, but it’s time well spent, especially once you taste that first spoonful when it’s done.
By the way, this recipe calls for chicken broth and a crispy bacon garnish, but I’ve also made a vegetarian version with vegetable broth and some toasted pepitas for garnish, and have yet to be disappointed.
One word about safety, here: use caution if you use a blender to purée the soup. It’s no fun to have boiling soup come flying out of your blender. Only fill your blender about half to two thirds, then cover the lid with a tea towel and hold it down before you turn the blender on.
Ideally, however, use an immersion blender. It’s much safer and it saves you quite a bit of work in transferring soup back and forth.
Serve with a glass of white wine, some Gus Viseur playing on the stereo, and a fresh baguette and you’ll feel like you’re still in that French cafe.Print
Cheesy Asiago Bisque
Sweet and full of flavor, asiago is the cheese you didn’t know you needed. Made with onions and garlic and topped with crumbled bacon, this Cheesy Asiago Bisque is a winner.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
- Category: Soups
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 cups chopped, peeled potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more leaves for garnish
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded Asiago cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 head roasted garlic (see Note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled, for garnish
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, broth, wine, and rosemary. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the cream and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Asiago until melted.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a blender, add the roasted garlic, and puree until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, blend the soup
directly in the pot using an immersion blender.) Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and serve topped with more Asiago, the bacon, and rosemary.
- To make roasted garlic, cut the top third from 1 head garlic to expose the cloves. Drizzle with some olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast in a 400 degrees F oven for 45 minutes. Squeeze the cloves from the papery skins.