Consomme is a clear soup prepared from a rich stock or bouillon. An egg protein is usually added to the consommé when it is just about ready which helps in clarifying the soup. A consomme recipe is fairly complex and requires both skill as well as experience in cooking it. The liquid dish is one of the most appreciated soups of the world.
The primary process which can make or break a consommé is the time allowed for simmering of the soup. Frequent stirring is also required to make the impurities appear on the top which gets congealed on account of the egg protein resulting in a raft like shape. The entire dish is again cooked over a slow fire for as long as 45 minutes to an hour before being filtered once again. The final dish of consommé is a thin, clear liquid which is almost golden in color. The best quality consommés are completely bereft of fat
The soup is often served as an appetizer at formal meals. Garnishings vary widely and can consist of an egg yolk or a dollop of sherry to fine cuts of vegetables left floating on the surface of the soup.
A consommé is usually an expensive dish as a large quantity of meat is required for a single serving. The filtration and clarification process explained in the consomme recipe has to be done painstakingly and requires expertise.
History Of Consomme Recipe
The consomme recipe has been around for ages and is believed to have been popular in the Middle Ages. The consistency of the soup has undergone a lot of change ranging from a clear broth to a soup filled with meat particles. The meat of unusual animals in the consommé was considered to be a delicacy at one time.
A particular type of consommé was prepared by boiling the tendons and cartilage which was sweetened instead of adding salt. The sweet soup served as a dessert and was often consumed with fresh fruits. This specialized dish is believed to be a pre cursor of the various gelatin based desserts of the modern era.
Ingredients And Popular Consomme Recipe
The cartilage or shin bones are usually preferred while making the consommé. The stock of vegetables and bones also require egg whites to be added to the clear soup which tends to float to the top taking all the impurities along with it. Refining the broth is a slow and painstaking process which is considered to be absolutely essential for preparing the soup properly. Some of the most popular recipes with consommé as their base are:-
- Double consommé- A clear and rich soup replete with the flavors of meat is prepared by reducing the original broth to half its volume.
- Brunoise- The clear soup is served with finely cut leeks, celery and carrots decorating the surface.
- French Onion Soup- A delicious variation where the soup is put in the oven with sautéed onions and finely grated cheese just before serving.
Nutritional Value Of Consommé
The soup is particularly rich in proteins with a fair amount of fats and carbohydrates present as well. The sodium levels are also quite high with absolutely no dietary fiber.
- The thirteenth episode of the television comedy series ‘Arrested Development’ was titled as “Beef Consomme”.