Stock to Soup to Consommé…daring cooks September challenge

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

This was one challenge I didn’t want to miss. When you make and taste home made stock , you never look at making soup the same way again. The smell, the taste, the richness it adds to any recipe can’t be compared to anything that comes in a cube, box or bottle.

Before we get started with this month’s challenge, let’s clear out some of the words that were totally new to me. Consommé is a type of clear soup made from richly flavoured stock or bouillon that has been clarified traditionally through a fining process usually involving egg white protein forming a ‘raft’ which filters the impurities from the stock. Also consommé (technically an essence) can be made using the newly discovered (2004) freeze (gelatine) filtration method. Using this technique you can obtain a clear liquid from any puréed liquid. Fruit, stock, vegetables, bread, cookies even coffee since the matrix formed using this method traps all particulate matter (impurities) giving a clear liquid

Raft a mixture consisting of finely chopped vegetables and minced (ground) meat with egg whites whisked vigorously into simmering broth and cooked over a low heat so that the proteins coagulate and form a ‘raft’ on the surface that traps the impurities (but not the flavour) of the broth thereby clarifying it.

I made chicken stock, turned part of it into the golden chicken consomme recipe provided by Peta. The  mint and lemon added so much freshness The other part became a yummy chicken noodle soup :). 

The other mandatory item was to make something to serve the soup with.I made garlic herb olive bread and all I can say is..this was a yummy challenge 🙂 Thank you Peta for a wonderful challenge. 

 Golden Chicken Broth/ Consommé

(serves 6)

Ingredients

Stock

• 1 kg chicken bones or skinned Marylands
• 1 boiling chicken or 2 kg (2¼ lb) wings
• 400 gm (14 oz) onions, about 4 medium
• 400 gm (14 oz) carrots, about 6 medium
• 200 gm (7 oz) celery, about 4 large ribs
• 50 gm (1¾ oz) dried mushrooms, about 12
• 200 gm (7 oz) broccoli stalk, two large stalks

Soup or Consommé

• 2 litres (8 cups/2 quarts) chicken stock
• 500 gm (1 lb) chicken mince
• 2 whole star anise
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 4 cm (1½ inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
• 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
• 4 cm (1½ inch) piece fresh ginger, extra, peeled, chopped
• ½ red capsicum (red bell pepper), chopped
• 2 spring (green) onions, chopped
• 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
• 2 red bird’s eye chillies, seeded (optional), thinly sliced
• ½ cup (120 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) Vietnamese mint leaves
• 1 cup (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) coriander (cilantro) (Reserve 18 of the smallest leaves and 6 of the tips for service) wash the rest of the bunch including the roots.
• 1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
• 1 – 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce

Clarifying the soup


• 1 egg white per 4 cups of stock (for clarifying)
• 1 cup crushed ice per 4 cups of stock
Method
Step 1 – Stock
• Cook your bones and chicken until brown.
• Sweat the vegetables in the oil or butter until soft.
• Put ingredients in a stockpot and cover with cold water.
• Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
• Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, skimming foam from surface, for 2 hours or until meat falls from bone. Lift out the chicken and keep for another use.
• Strain stock through a muslin-lined sieve. Discard solids.

Step 2 – Soup
• Fry the mince until brown and cooked. Allow any juices to cook off. You don’t want any burnt bits as it will make your stock bitter.
• Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
• Skim off any fat.
• Strain the soup to remove any solids. Allow 1 cup/240ml per serve

Step 3 – Consomme (clarified with egg whites)
• Place egg whites in a bowl. This is the time to taste your stock and decide if it needs more flavourings or salt and pepper. Add seasoning to the egg whites.
• Whisk the whites to a bubbly froth and add the crushed ice.
• Add to the cooked meat. Mix together.
• Add this mixture to the simmering stock. Whisk for a slow count of three.
• Let it heat slowly back to a simmer. Don’t stir it again.
• The raft is a delicate thing. It is vital it doesn’t break apart (if it breaks apart it will all mix back into the soup and you’ll have to start again with the egg whites.), you want to bring it up to a simmer very slowly. Keep a close eye on it. I try to push the middle back so I get a good hole. Once the raft is substantial, break a little hole in it if there isn’t already one.
• As the consommé simmers, you will see bubbles and foam, come up through your hole. Skim it off and throw it away. When the bubbles stop coming and the consommé looks clear underneath, then you’re ready to take it out. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes.
• Removing the consommé from underneath the raft is another nerve racking procedure. You want to break as little of the raft as possible, but you have to get underneath it to remove the liquid.
• Enlarge your hole with a ladle and spoon it all out as gently as you can. You can strain it if you want too but hopefully the liquid is clear. Once you’ve removed all of the consommé from the pot discard the raft. If you have never made a consommé before Victory dances and loud cheering are totally appropriate.

Chicken noodle soup

recipe from BBC good food

900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz

1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger

1 garlic clove , finely chopped

50g rice or wheat noodles

2 tbsp sweetcorn , canned or frozen

2-3 mushrooms , thinly sliced

2 spring onions , shredded

2 tsp soy sauce , plus extra for serving

mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve

  1. Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks.
  2. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds if using. Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.

Garlic herb olive bread

3 and 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon powdered milk

1 tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 table spoon basil

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon parsley

1/2 cup pitted olives

1 to 1 and 1/2 cups warm water

Proof the yeast (mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup of water and wait for the yeast to bubble and foam)

In a pan heat the olive oil for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and herbs

Stir for 1 more minute and turn off the heat and allow the flavors to infuse the oils then discard the garlic

Mix the flour, milk and oil .

Add the proofed yeast and start kneading, add the water gradually while kneading until you get a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to your hands.

Add the olives and knead for 2 more minutes

Allow the dough to rest in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Form it into balls and brush the surface with egg wash (an egg beaten with water or milk)

Bake in a 200 degree oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes and then place under the broiler until the tops are golden brown

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