I am working on two recipes. Two which need to be combined. One I have known as a “Cream of Green Chile Soup;” the other is known as a “Cream of Artichoke Soup.” Why? Well, there is a little place located in the town of Pescadero, south of San Francisco, but for us is about 175 miles away. When I lived in the area I used to go to this fabulous little place, called Duartes Tavern, for a mixture of their Cream of Green Chile and Cream of Artichoke Soup! This restaurant has been around since 1894! If you have the chance – GO THERE and have them mix a bowl for you of both of these soups!
So where this is taking me is to the different types of soups that one can make. I have not done a post on this yet, and thought that this would be a good topic for those who love to be in the kitchen like I do! And I am wondering: Is the Cream of Green Chile Soup and the Cream of Artichoke Soup really Bisques or Cream Soups? So here is what I discovered:
Basically, there are 6 types of soups: Stock, Broth, Cream, Bisque, Chowder and Consommé. So, what are the differences?
A Stock begins with water and bones, and sometimes incorporates vegetables into the mix. Fish stock, which is the finest of stocks, can be made with fish bones and water, but if you cook it too long it can become bitter. Beef and chicken are the most common stocks that are made. Stock is made by cooking bones in water with some vegetables and seasonings. Stock can be cooked down and reduced for the flavors to intensify without being overly salty!
A Broth, while being a bit similar to stock, has more seasoning than a stock. It also begins with water, but uses less bones than stock, and still includes some vegetables.
Broth in the soup kettle
Meat is usually added, but this is not cooked down to the degree of Stock or it would be too intense in flavor. Bullion that you can buy in the grocery stores should not be confused with broth. Those bullion’s you can buy in the store: Loaded with salt, which is usually the first ingredient.
A Cream Soup generally uses a bechamel, which is a white sauce made with butter and flour. The trick to a good cream soup is to “sweat” the aromatics in butter that you are using for the basis of your soup. This intensifies the flavors. Then you add a bit of flour to create a roux, and add your liquids.
The flour mixture with the addition of the broth
Usually this liquid is a stock, and to finish this soup, you finish it with a bit of cream. I like to toss it in a blender which will smooth and thicken the entire lot of what you are cooking!
A Bisque Soup (pronounced “bisk”), is a soup that begins with a strained broth of shellfish. Traditionally, this soup is made from shells that are ground into a fine paste, which are then added to a broth to help thicken it. Rice can also be used to thicken a bisque. The term Bisque can also refer to a vegetarian style soup which are processed through a food mill or food processor. These more commonly use tomatoes, peppers, squash or mushrooms.
Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots
These really are considered a cream soup but needed to be mentioned here as they are more often than not referred to as a “Bisque.”
A Chowder is more like a stew than a soup. It is similar to a cream soup but it is not blended.
Midway through cooking
So with this soup you get chunks of food, while it is still creamy. Most chowders include corn, fish, clams, or potatoes. Again, a chunky cream soup!
The last is Consommé. By its very definition this soup is a strong, rich soup where the flavors are concentrated. What sets this apart are the strong flavors and the clarity of the soup. What clarifies this type of soup are egg whites. They are basically a filter for this type of soup! As the soup cooks the eggs capture the sediment in the broth, which rise to the top of the cooking pot. This is called the “raft.” The raft is then spooned off resulting in a clear, flavorful broth!
I hope that you found this post interesting! I was amazed at the differences between all these types of soup!
Now go out and have a great Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!
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