A consommé is a soup or broth that has been clarified egg whites creating a crystal clear liquid. Consommés can be meat-based or vegetarian and are packed full of flavour. All you need is a bit of time and patience to clarify a broth in this way.
Consommés date as far back as the middle ages and were associated with luxury and refinement due to the large quantity of meat needed for the small yield. Many years ago, they were traditionally served with julienne vegetables or a ‘quenelle’ – a mousse made from meat or fish and cream.
The base of a consommé is a strongly flavoured stock; flavours such a beef, lamb, duck and even roasted onion work well. Here we provide you with a guide to clarifying stock. For vegetarian stocks, leave out the chicken. It is advisable to make and clarify large quantities of stock at a time as this reduces wastage.
For Adam Simmonds’ duck consommé, he roasts duck bones and root vegetables in a preheated oven until golden before adding chicken stock. Andy McLeish makes his Asian-inspired mushroom consommé by caramelising onions with muscovado sugar, before deglazing with white wine and combining with fried mushrooms.