How to make a consommé

Cured lobster and charred leek with leek consommé

How to make a consommé

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to make a consommé

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.





Blend the chicken breast and shallot in a food processor until minced
Whisk the egg whites until just starting to foam and mix with the chicken and shallot and a good pinch of salt
Pour the stock into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk in the egg white mixture
On a gentle heat, bring the stock to a simmer, whisking regularly so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan – do not let the stock boil
The egg whites will start to coagulate and float to the top creating a ‘raft’. Make a small hole in the edge of the raft with a ladle; this will enable you to see if all the egg white has risen to the top of the stock
Carefully agitate the bottom of the pan with a spatula to loosen any raft that may be caught
Taste the stock and add salt if required
When the raft is solid and you can no longer see impurities rising to the surface, remove the pan from the heat
Using a ladle, gently take the consommé from the hole in the raft and strain through doubled-up muslin cloth into a container, being careful not to disturb the rest of the raft. If the raft is broken up, it will result in a cloudy stock
Leave the liquid to pass through the muslin slowly, do not push it through
Chill the consommé in the fridge, once it is cold you will be able to remove any fat that has gathered on the surface with a ladle. It is now ready to use


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.

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