Soups are a common feature offered on many types of menus in a wide variety of catering establishments.  Such units range from fast food operations to the more traditionally based luxury catering systems.

What is Soup?

A liquid food served at the beginning of a meal or for lunch, a snack, etc. made up of fish, poultry, games, shellfish, meat, vegetables by the addition of stock of any variety and with or without any thickening agent.


The domesticated birds are reared in a farmhouse especially for meat or eggs mainly chicken, ducks, and geese.


The birds which are generally hunted for their meat mainly Squale,Partridge, Quail, etc.

Composition of soups.

From the above explanation, it is evident that for making any kind of soup the following group of ingredients are obvious.

Stock – of any variety.

Main body ingredients – the soup will get its name.

Herbs – to match the flavour.

Butter – as cooking medium.

Seasonings – for the taste.

Thickening agent – for binding solids and liquids.

Garnish – for presentation and eye appeal.

The function of soup on the menu is to stimulate the customer’s appetite rather than act as a complete meal.  For this reason, many soups are of alight and delicate nature.  Hot soups are a welcome feature on winter menus; conversely, cold soups are ideal in the summertime. As the soup preparation needs a very less amount butter or fat and not very spicy, it can be easily an ideal food for invalids.

The Soup may be classified in the following manner:

pumpkin soup, hokkaido soup, potato soup

Clear Soups

Consommés are refined clear soups prepared from good quality stocks, which are flavored and clarified, by a combination of ingredients.

Clarification Process

During cooking the protein content, derived mainly from the egg white and minced beef, coagulates, flocculates, and rises to the surface of the consommé as rafts.  This action results in a clarified liquid being produced.  Once cooking is complete the clear liquid lies beneath the mass of coagulated protein and other ingredients.

Points for Consideration

  • In order to allow the egg white to disperse thoroughly, mix all the ingredients and allow it to stand for a period prior to cooking.
  • Use fat-free stock in order to prevent excess fat from causing a greasy product.
  • Mix only just warm stock to the ingredients.
  • Slowly bring it to the boiling point and stir continuously so that the egg white disperse thoroughly.
  • Once the consommé has been brought to the boil it is important to ensure that it simmers gently, without stirring for the remainder of the cooking period as rapid boiling or stirring will result in a clouded consommé. 
  • For the same reason do not cover the soup with a lid as this would disturb and inhibit the formation of congealed protein.
  • A tall, deep, thick bottomed cooking vessel is ideally suited for consommé production, this type of vessel is designed to prevent excessive evaporation during cooking and helps to maintain an even temperature throughout.
  • When most of the grease has been skimmed away from the completed consommé, any remaining grease is removed by passing pieces of absorbent paper across the surface of the consommé.
  • On completion, strain the consommé with a wet muslin cloth carefully.
  • The desired colour of consommé is amber.

Basic reasons for cloudy consommé

  • The base stock is poor in quality.
  • The base stock is greasy and not scummed well.
  • The stock was not strained well.
  • The raft is not very compact due to poor coagulation.
  • Stirring after boiling, will prevent clarification by remixing the impurities back into the liquid.
  • Simmering followed by boiling will allow the raft to settle down before straining.
  • The container in which the consommé has been made was dirty

Double Consommé ( consommé double)

The basic consommé which is prepared by using double the quantity of lean meat and a richer mirepoix is termed as Double Consommé.

Cold consommé (consommé froid )

The fat is carefully skimmed off from a double consommé and seasoned with Maderia, port wine, and cayenne pepper. It is then portioned and allowed to cool in the refrigerator. May be served with or without any garnish accompanied with cheese straws (paillettes de Fromage). A cold consommé always strong and spicy and should gel slightly.

BASIC CONSOMME                                                    

Yield: 4 portions

Cooking time: 1  ½ hr.



Cold stock (white or brown)

1 1

Beef shin (minced)

200 g

Mirepoix (scorched)

200 g

Egg white

Bouquet garni

Salt and pepper

50 g

Note: The type of stock used is determined by the flavour required in the consommé. In addition, browned game, poultry carcasses, etc, may be added to appropriate consommé to enhance the flavour.


  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients in the cooking vessel and allow to stand approximately 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Commence cooking by bringing slowly to simmering point, stirring occasionally. Once boiling point is reached allow simmering gently without any further stirring or undue agitation.
  • On completion strain carefully through wet muslin, degrease, and correct seasoning. Reheat and garnish for service.

Menu Term


Consommé en Tasse

(Consommé served in a cup)


Consommé Brunoise

(Consommé with vegetables)

Cooked brunoise of vegetables

Carrot, Turnip, Leek, Celery

Consommé Celestine

(Consommé with savoury pancake)

Julienne of savoury pancake


Consommé Madrilène (C OLD)

(Consommé with celery and tomato)

Celery (add to consommé throughout the cooking period)

Tomato puree (add to consommé throughout the cooking period)


Tomato concasse, Small celery batons (cooked), Diced pimento (cooked), Shredded sorrel (seated in butter), Vermicelli (cooked), Flavoured with Madiera, Brandy, and Cayenne Pepper.

Consommé Alphabetique

(Consommé with shaped pasta)

Cooked alphabet pasta

Consommé au Porto (COLD)

(Consommé with port wine)

Port wine

Consommé au Xeres

(Consommé with sherry)


Consommé Tortue

(Consommé with turtle flavour)

1 sachet of turtle herbs

*Diced cooked turtle meat


Add turtle herbs to prepare consommé and infuse for 20 minutes before removing the sachet

Consommé Royal

(Consommé with savoury egg custard)

Cooked egg custard


The broth is comprised of savory stock liquor, flavoured and garnished with a combination of vegetables, vegetables, and meat, or vegetables and seafood. In most cases, the broth contains a cereal ingredient, usually rice or barley.  Herbs, seasonings, and occasionally spices enhance the flavour.  Often broth has the appearance of a thickened soup, a result of the starch content extracted from the cereal ingredient during cooking.  However, because the soup remains unpassed, full thickening is not affected.

Broths are sub-divided into three types according to the method of preparation.

  • When the vegetables are added directly to the stock base which contains a meat ingredient, e.g. stewing mutton as for mutton broth;
  • When the vegetables are sweated in fact without colour in the initial stages of preparation just prior to the addition of stock;
  • Fish flavoured broths e.g. chowders

English Term

Meat Content


French Term

Beef broth

Stewing beef

Chopped parsley

Bouillon de Boeuf

Chicken broth


Chopped parsley

Bouillon de Volaille

Game broth

Assorted stewing game

Chopped parsley

Bouillon dep Gibier

Scotch mutton broth

Stewing mutton

Chopped parsley

Potage Eccossais

Menu Term

Main Vegetables


Potage Bonne

Femme (leek and potato soup)

Equal quantities of leek and potato cut into paysanne


Chopped parsley

Cocky-Leeky soup

Julienne of leek

Julienne cooked chicken

Julienne cooked prunes

Chopped parsley

Potage Paysanne

Paysanne of: carrot, leek, onion, potato, swede, turnip, green

Cabbage, celery

Green peace

Diced French beans

Chopped parsley

Minestrone (minestrone)

As for Potage Paysanne

Tomato concasse

Raw spaghetti

Tomato Puree (to colour)

8 Garlic pellets

Grated parmesan cheese to accompany


This type of soup is produced from one of the following:

  • Vegetables containing a high percentage of starch e.g. – pulse vegetables.
  • Aqueous Vegetables i.e., watery vegetables e.g., celery, leeks onions, etc.

Puree soups produced from starchy vegetables need no other thickening, agent as starch-based vegetables act as self-thickeners. Alternatively, puree soups produced from aqueous vegetables need the assistance of starchy food to affect cohesion.  The ingredients most used for this purpose are rice or potatoes.

All the puree soups are passed through the food processer for liquidizing and finally strained through a conical strainer (chinois). It’s then reheated for correcting the seasonings and consistency. Puree soup is always garnished with croutons.

English Term-main ingredient

Ingredient for


French Term




Puree of haricot bean soup

Chopped parsley

Potage Soissonnaise

Puree of red bean soup

Finish with dry red wine

Potage Conde

Puree of lentil soup

Chopped parsley

Potage de Lentilles

Puree of lentil soup

Diced cooked bacon Pinch of chopped chervil

Portage Conti

Puree of lentil soup

Boiled rice


Potage Esati

Puree of green split pea soup


Potage St. Germain

Puree of yellow split pea soup

Chopped parsley

Potage Egyptienne


With only a few exceptions, the principal thickening element used in the production of cream soup is that of sauce béchamel.  The recipe balance determines the predominant flavour of the soup.

The classes of vegetables best suited to cream soup production are the aqueous type.  Starchy vegetables, in general act as self-thickeners and need no other thickening element.

It is worth mentioning at this stage that there are many soups appearing on the menu as creams, which are basically velouté or puree soups to which cream has been added prior to service.  The work `cream’ in these instances refers to the addition of cream rather than the underlying principle of cream soup production.

English Term main ingredient

Ingredient for


French Term


Cream of asparagus soup

Cooked asparagus tips

Crème d’Asperges

Cream of carrot soup

Chopped parsley

Crème de Carrottes

Cream of carrot soup

As above plus boiled rice

Cream Crecy

Cream of cauliflower soup

Small cooked sprigs of cauliflower

Crème de Chou-fleur/Dubarry

Cream of celery soup

Cooked julienne of celery

Crème de Celeri

Cream of cucumber soup

Small cucumber balls

Crème Concombre/Doria

Cream of leek soup


Crème Poireaux

Cream of lettuce soup

Shredded lettuce lightly sweated

Crème de Laitue/Judic

English Term main ingredient

Ingredient for


French Term


Cream of mushroom soup (1/5 main unit may be used 160 g (6 oz)

Julienne of cooked mushrooms

Crème de Champignons

Cream of onion soup


Crème d’Oignon

Cream of spinach soup


Crème d’Epinards/Florentine

Cream of sweet corn soup

Cooked corn kernels

Crème de Mais/Washington

Cream of vegetable soup


Crème de legumes

Cream of watercress soup

Blanched watercress leaves

Crème Cressonniere

Velouté Soups

The French word velouté translated into English means velvety.  This describes the finished texture and appearance of the soup.  The principal thickening element is a blond roux or a velouté sauce, which may be flavoured using different stock bases according to requirements.  When preparing meat, poultry, or fish veloute the predominant flavour is determined by the stock used.  Alternatively, when producing aqueous vegetable velouté soups the flavour of the main vegetable predominates.

To achieve the velvety finish required, the liaison of egg yolks and cream is added just before serving.  Once this has been added the soup must not be allowed to re-boil otherwise it will take on a curdled appearance, a result of egg yolk coagulation.

Menu term

Main stock


Veloute de Volaille (Chicken Veloute)


Julienne of cooked chicken

Veloute de Poisson (fish veloute)


Chopped parsley

Veloute Dieppoise (mussel veloute)

Fish and mussel cooking liquor

Budded mussels


Chopped parsley

Veloute aux Huitres

(oyster veloute)

Fish and oyster cooking liquor

8 poached oysters

Chopped parsley

Shellfish Soups (Bisques)

Bisques may be defined as thickened, passed, classical seafood soups prepared from a base of a fish stock flavoured with selected shellfish and mirepoix.  They are enhanced with wine, brandy, and thickened with starch usually in the form of rice.  Due to the delicacy of their flavour and the high cost of production bisques are best suited to service at dinner.

Menu Term

Main Shellfish and preparation


Bisque de Crab

(crab bisque)

Crab Claws


White crab meat

Bisque de Homard (lobster bisque)

Lobster, split (sack removed from the head), claws cracked, remainder cut into pieces

Diced, cooked lobster meat, flavoured with branch)

Bisque de Crevettes (prawn or shrimp bisque)

Whole prawns or shrimps

Cooked prawns or shrimps


Its a thick variety soup generally made with sea food. The name is the corruption of the French word ‘CHAUDIERE’ means a heavy pot used by farmers and fishermen to cook soups and stews. The best known French Chowder is ‘Bouillabaisse’.It is more like a stew which is an American specialty made with meat, fish, vegetables along with milk, pork belly, tomato concasse, and seasonings. Prior to the service crushed cracker biscuits or a thickener. Alternatively, Chowder may be thickened with Beurre Manie.

English Term

Main Shellfish


Clam chowder


Chopped parsley

Mussel chowder


Chopped parsley

Oyster chowder


Chopped parsley

Scallop chowder


Chopped parsley

Seafood chowder

Assorted shellfish

Chopped parsley

Special & National Soups

Special soups are those made with unusual ingredients and are prepared by a distinctive method. Also, their names should appear on the menu in the language of the country of its origins. So they are termed as National Soups. The examples are as follows.

  • Boillabaisse a la Provencale (assorted fish soup) – France.
  • Busecca (onion,leek,beans,pesto & cheese – Italy.
  • Chicken Broth – English.
  • Gazpacho ( cold vegetable uncooked soup – Spain.
  • Minestrone – Italy.
  • Mock Turtle Soup – U S A.
  • Mulligatawny – India.
  • Scotch Broth – Scotland.
  • Olla Porida – Spain.
  • Oxtail Soup – English.
  • Vichyssoise (cold – U S A
  • Zuppa Pavese- Italy.


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