Katie in Cucina

A Culinary Journey

Posts tagged 2011

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Stock to Soup to Consomme

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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!

September was my very second Daring Cook’s challenge. Boy was it hard to complete while dealing with hurricane Irene and no power. I have not completely finished this challenge yet, some of my soup is in the freezer waiting to be turned into consomme. I will get to it asap, just get situated into my college coursework. So I made beef stock and turned it into french onion soup with a garlic herb brioche. I have made stock into soup in the past, but the brioche was the real challenge for me because bread never seems to like me. This was a total success.

Mandatory Items: You must make a stock and turn it into a soup (savoury or sweet). You must also make an accompaniment for your soup.


Beef French Onion Soup/ Consommé
(Equal amounts of chicken can be substituted for the beef)
Serves 6

Step 1 – Stock
• 5 litres (5 quarts) water
• 2 kg (4½ lb) meaty beef bones (browned in the oven or in a pan)
• 500 gm (½ lb) diced stewing beef or chicken wings (browned in the oven or in a pan)
• 500 gm (½ lb) mirepoix – 2 medium onions, 2 medium carrots, 2 large celery ribs, finely chopped
• 1 bouquet garnish
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 or 2 cloves
• 1 or 2 tablespoons oil or butter

Step 2 – Enriching your stock to a bouillon
• 80 gm (5½ tablespoons) (3 oz) butter
• 1 kg (2 lb) brown onions, sliced in rings
• 20gm (1½ tablespoons) (¾ oz) brown sugar
• 60 ml (4 tablespoons) port
• 200 ml (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) white wine
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 2 litres (2 quarts) brown beef stock

Step 3 – Consommé (Using the gelatine technique)

• 1 clove garlic - finely minced
• 250 gm (½ lb) best quality beef mince (ground beef)
• 14 gm (2 tablespoons) (½ oz) gelatine

To Serve
• 6 slices of brioche, sourdough or French baguettes
• sliced swiss cheese


Step 1 – Stock
1. Cook your bones and meat until brown.
2. Sweat the vegetables in the oil or butter until soft.
3. Put ingredients in a stockpot and cover with cold water.
4. Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, skimming foam from surface, for 4 - 8 hours or until meat falls from bone.
6. Strain stock through a muslin-lined sieve. Discard solids.

Step 2 – Soup
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onions.
2. Add sugar and a little salt to help the caramelisation process.
3. Cook over medium to low heat until the onions caramelise to dark brown. Stir regularly. This can take hours so don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed it up.
4. Deglaze the pan with cognac, port and wine and then pop in a couple of sprigs of thyme, bay leaves and the mustard and cook together.
5. Pour in the stock and reheat.
6. To make this soup into a consommé proceed to Step 3.
7. For the soup - taste it and adjust the seasonings. (For Australians you can add ½ to 1 teaspoon of vegemite or marmite at this point if you want a little more flavour kick.)
8. It is now time to either strain out the solid bits or blend the whole lot or if you like chunky bits don’t bother. Ladle into hot bowls.
9. Top a thick slice of bread that will fit into the bowl with swiss cheese, a pinch of pepper and chopped thyme and grill the top until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Put these on top of your hot bowl of soup.

Step 3 – Consommé (Using the gelatine technique)

1. if you think your soup is not as flavourful as you would like go to the next step. If you like the flavours skip adding the extra mince.
2. Fry the mince until brown and cooked. Allow any juices to cook off.
3. Add garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. You don’t want any burnt bits it will make your stock bitter.
4. Strain off any fat or remaining juices.
5. Put the meat aside and deglaze the fry pan with a little of the stock and add the meat and the liquid from the pan to the soup.
6. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings. This is your last chance to do this.
7. Take the pot off the heat and carefully ladle out the stock. Strain through a sieve lined with muslin or a coffee filter.
8. Measure the stock, you need 8 cups/2 litres in total. The rest can be frozen for other uses.
9. Take 1 cup/240 ml of that liquid and sprinkle the gelatine on top and allow it to bloom.
10. While the stock is still hot stir through the gelatine and make sure it dissolves. You may need to heat it slightly – don’t let it boil.
11. Quick cool the stock by placing the whole pot into your sink and running cold water around it.
12. Pour it into a container and place in the refrigerator.
13. Allow the soup to set fully (this is really important) then place it into the freezer to freeze solid. If the soup is put into the freezer before it sets solid it will not separate properly when you thaw it.
14. Chop the frozen jelly into chunks and put them into a lined sieve in the refrigerator. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator. This cannot be rushed. It has to happen in the refrigerator so the gelatine and any fat solids don’t melt and run through your filter cloth.
15. You should have a crystal clear liquid.
16. Your consommé is now ready to serve. Reheat and serve. With the crouton on the side.

*what I have left to do to finish my consomme. I will update when it is all done.

Herb and Garlic Brioche


• 2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose plain flour
• 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) active dry yeast
• 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (28 gm) (1 oz) granulated sugar
• ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
• ½ cup (120 ml) milk, warm
• ½ cup (1 stick) (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 3 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (1 gm) chopped chives
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (1 gm) chopped parsley
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) Italian mixed herbs
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) freshly crushed garlic


1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
2. Slowly mix the warm milk, butter, herbs, garlic and 2 of the eggs into the flour mixture
3. Knead until the dough is smooth. The dough is ready to rise when it is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size.
5. Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down a few times.
6. Finely chop the fresh herbs and mix with the garlic.
7. Press the dough out into a rectangle then spread with the chopped herbs.
8. Roll up like a swiss roll and place on a lined baking tray.
9. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size.
10. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F.
11. Remove the dough covering, gently brush the loaf with the remaining beaten egg, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the brioche is golden brown. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack.

My finished beef stock

Finished Soup

Garlic Herb Brioche

Thanks so much to Peta of Peta Eats for this amazing challenge and inspiring me to try a consomme. There were some spectacular soups/consommes this month, so check them all out on the Daring Kitchen homepage. Click here for the full challenge PDF, including recipes, links and photos.

Filed under daring cooks daring cooks september 2011 2011 soup stock consomme