Consommé: round one

From this …

Fragrant, local plum tomatoes cooked low and slow with all the usual suspects.

… to this …

Gently pressed through a fine sieve to extract all of the juice and none of the texture. Then returned to the pot with a herb-filled raft* (I was a bit liberal with the tarragon, truth be told. Lesson learned) to extract all of the color and hopefully none of the flavor.

… to this …

Perfectly clear and delicately flavored.. it just doesn’t look like a tomato soup though, does it?

*The raft is made from beaten egg whites, herbs, in some cases, vegetables, and in the case of a meat or poultry consommé, ground [insert animal part of your choice here]. It is stirred into a cool stock/broth/soup and slowly heated up – this is what clarifies your soup and turns it into a consommé.

There’s a perfectly good scientific explanation for why this works – something about the solid particles in the broth being attracted to the egg proteins as they heat up blah blah (Wikipedia can probably help out if you’re that interested), I prefer to think of it as magic.  You start with an opaque, messy pot of soup and you finish with a brilliant, glistening jewel. It’s got to be magic.

I hadn’t planned on writing about this but it just looked so pretty I couldn’t resist (it’s also why there are so few photos). I don’t usually blog about a dish unless I’ve made it a few times and thoroughly tested my recipe. This is still a “dish-in-development” (sounds poncy, doesn’t it?) so I haven’t written the final recipe yet… maybe more to come, we’ll see.


8 thoughts on “Consommé: round one

    • Hi – can you set up an index or something – not that I minded re-reading all your blogs but I was in a hurry and I still could not stop myself …….anyway I was looking for the tomato consomme ….and after beans, bacon, artichokes, eggs and cauliflower – even re-read the Pork Belly with Junipa – I finally found the Consonmme – it is a ‘magical’ thing as you say – thank you!

  1. It is magical, I did it once, and swore it was too much work to do again, but you make everything look so easy and worth the effort – I don’t know how you do that !! Yours looks amazing, I love the simplicity of just two leaves. love you madly xxx

    • Thanks Suzie Jacuzzi, you are too sweet – and I’m sure yours was perfect, I’ve seen how much time and care you take when you’re cooking.

      I was thinking that I might try a duck consommé for next week’s Underground – if I can find a good supplier in Miami, that it. I know consommé is very old fashioned but I’m thinking of bringing it back.

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