Soups are liquid food served at the beginning of the meal, but it may be also be served in between courses or as a meal by itself. It could be served to create the appetite and it could be served hot or cold. There are many different soups and many more garnishes for each of them. They are served for lunch, dinner and supper.

A portion of soup usually consists of 200-250 ml, depending on the type of soup and the number of courses to follow.

1. Consommé (clear soup)

A consommé is made by adding a mixture of ground meats, together with mirepoix (a combination of carrots, celery, and onion), tomatoes, and egg whites into either bouillon or stock. The key to making a high quality consommé is simmering; the act of simmering, combined with frequent stirring, brings impurities to the surface of the liquid, which are further drawn out due to the presence of acid from the tomatoes. Eventually, the solids begin to congeal at the surface of the liquid, forming a ‘raft’, which is caused by the proteins in the egg whites. Once the ”raft” begins to form, the heat is reduced, and the consommé is simmered at a lower heat until it reaches the desired flavor, which usually takes anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. The resulting concoction is a clear liquid that has either a rich amber color (for beef or veal consommé) or a very pale yellow color (for poultry consommé). It is then carefully drawn from the pot and passed again through a filter to ensure its purity, and is then put through a lengthy process where all of the visible fat is skimmed from the surface. To ensure total purification, the consommé can be refrigerated, which draws out remaining fat, which can easily be skimmed off with a cheesecloth or muslin cloth. Alternatively, the consommé can be placed in a wide, shallow container such as a sauté pan or large bowl and wide strips of parchment paper can be dragged along the surface, the tiny amounts of remaining fat adhere to the parchment, leaving the consommé perfectly de-greased. Cartilage and tendons should be left on the meat because of the gelatin they contain, which enhances the mouthfeel of the soup. If beef or veal is used, shin meat is ideal because it is very low in fat and very high in gristle, and although it is undesirable for most other purposes, it is near essential for the flavor of the consommé. The meat is best if it is ground very fine, as if for a mousseline.

Consommés are usually served piping hot because they tend to cool down more quickly than other soups and form a gel. They are most often served with garnishes, which vary in complexity from a simple splash of sherry or egg yolk, to cut vegetables, to shaped savory custards called ”royals”.

A large amount of meat only yields a small amount of consommé, in some recipes, as much as 500 g (a little over a pound) of meat can go into a single 250 ml (8.2 fl oz) serving. This low-yield is part of what has traditionally given consommé its refined reputation as an expensive dish.

Other types of consommé such as a tomato consommé are traditionally served chilled, this keeps the clearness of the consommé.

Varieties of Consommé

Double consommé is a consommé made to double strength. There are at least three methods of producing a double consommé, the first of which is doubling the quantity of meat used in the recipe, the second of which is producing a normal strength consommé and reducing it to half its volume and the third of which is producing a consommé with all water in the recipe replaced with equal quantities of an already-prepared consommé. It is often found in other cold-cuisine items, especially those that use aspic, or natural gelatin.

Another common variation is chilled or jellied consommé. They are served cold and thickened naturally by the gelatin extracted from the bones when the original stock is made. The gelatin gives the consommé a gelatinous texture when set to cool. Additional gelatin may be added during the last part of the clarification process to ensure that it sets properly.

Consommé Madrilène is a crystal-clear soup that is pure and clean-tasting, typically flavored with tomato, and served chilled.

  • Examples:-
    • Consommé Royal
    • Consommé Julienne
    • Consommé Celestine
    • Consommé Madrilène
Beef Consommé

2. Broth (British)

Broth is a term that is used in many different ways. But we define broth as a clear or semi clear soup with plenty of garnish in it. It is a hearty (wholesome) unstrained soup.

In British for example a broth is also thickened soup made from different stocks, for example mutton, chicken, vegetables, dices of meat or chicken and rice or barley.

Broth has traditionally been made using animal bones which are boiled in a cooking pot to extract the flavor and nutrients. The bones may or may not have meat still on them. Roasted bones are used to add a darker color and caramelized flavor.

  • Examples:-
    • Chicken Broth = chicken stock + vegetable + rice + chicken dices
    • Scotch Broth = barley + beef stock + vegetable
    • Mutton Broth = barley + mutton + vegetable
Vegetable Broth

3. Potage-Soup (unstrained)

These items cover a wide variety of soup and may be referred as soups in French. As well as this is a category of thick soups, stews, or porridge, in some of which meat and vegetables are boiled together with water until they form into a thick mush.

  • Examples:-
    • Leek and potato soup (potage de poireaux et.pommes)
Corn Potage

4. Purée (thick & passed)

A purée (or mash) is cooked food, usually vegetables, fruits or legumes, that has been ground, pressed, blended or sieved to the consistency of a creamy paste or liquid.

Purée soups are soups that are  thickened by their main ingredients (ex:- carrot, potato, celery, lentil).

  • Examples:-
    • Purée soups of leek and potatoes ( the potato will thicker the soup)
    • Purée of chicken and rice (the rice will thicken the soup)
    • Purée of peas and carrots (the peas will thicken the soup)
Broccoli Purée Soup

5. c (white stock + blond roux + egg yolk + cream)

A velouté is a soup thickened with roux. The basic steps when making a velouté soups are the same as when making a sauce.

A roux (mixture of fat and flour) is incorporated with cold stock, and brought to a boil. Garnish is added either during the process of cooking or in some cases just before serving a velouté soup, a liaison (egg yolk and cream mix together) is added to velouté. After adding the liaison the soup must not be boiled again, if it will curdle.

Mushroom Velouté

6. Bisque

Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth (coulis) of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp, or crayfish. Alongside chowder, bisque is one of the most popular seafood soups. Garnish with dices of meat and flavor with brandy & cream.

Crab Bisque

7. Cream Soup (stock+ roux+ cream)

A cream soup is a soup prepared using cream, light cream, half and half or milk as a key ingredient. Sometimes the dairy product is added at the end of the cooking process, such as after a cream soup has been pureed.

A cream soup will often have a soup base, prepared with ingredients such as onion, celery, garlic powder, celery, butter, bacon drippings, flour, salt, pepper, paprika, milk, light cream, and chicken stock or vegetable stock. Various vegetables or meats are then added to the base. Sometimes, leftover vegetables and meats are used in cream soups.

  • Examples:-
    • Cream of chicken soup
    • Cream of leeks soup
    • Cream of green pea soup
    • Cream of vegetable soup

The following can be used to finish a cream soup.

  1. Velouté + Cream
  2. ½ Béchamel + ½ Vegetable purée
  3. Purée + Cream

8. National / Special Soups

Soups those are typical for particular nation.

1. Mulligatawny – Indian

This is an Indian national soup and the direct translation of this means ”pepper water”. This soup is made with chicken stock, curry powder, chutney, tomato puree and is garnished with plain boiled rice and served with a wedge of lime.

2. Minestrone – Italian

This is an unstrained vegetable soup made of vegetables such as onions, leeks, celery, carrots, turnips, potatoes and cabbage, cut into paysanne with the addition of tomato puree, tomato concasse, spaghetti and small pellets made out of chopped bacon fat, garlic and parsley added to the soup.

3. Bouillas Baisse – French

This is a Mediterranean fish stew of several kinds of fish (minimum of 7 kinds) cut into small pieces tossed in oil with chopped herbs and onions. Moistened with white wine and seasoned with saffron, tomatoes and garlic and chopped parsley.

The cutlery used is soup spoon, fish fork and knife. A slice of French bread dipped in oil and grilled is served as an accompaniment, the soup is served in plates and not in cups.

4. Petit Marmite (double consommé)

This soup is beef or chicken flavoured and garnished with turned root vegetable and dices of beef and chicken , this is drunk from a special earthenware dish called petit marmite. Like a small coffee cup with handles on either side.

The accompaniments are grated parmesan cheese, grilled flutes and poached bone marrow.

5. Borsch (German)

This is duck flavored consommé garnished with diced duck, beef and turned vegetables. The accompaniments are sour cream, beetroot juice and bouches filled with duck paste.

6. Clear oxtail soup (British)

This is the same as a thick oxtail soup without the addition of any thickening agent. It is garnished with dice of oxtail and may be flavored with sherry wine. The accompaniments are cheese straws. 

7. Clear turtle soup

This is a clear soup made from the flesh of the turtle. The method of preparation is similar to that of a clear soup. China, England & USA are famous for turtle soup.

8. Cream of chicken – German

9. Gazpacho Andelouse – Spanish

10. Goulash soup – Hungarian

11. Vichyssoise soup – American

12. Herbal porridge – Sri Lanka

13. Clam Chowder – America


21/05/2020 by @cheflakey

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