Soup is a liquid dish typically made by combining ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or grains in a pot with water or stock, and then heating the mixture until it is hot. Soups can be served as a standalone dish or as a starter for a larger meal. There are many different types of soups, such as clear soups, creamy soups, and pureed soups, and they can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, including vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains. Some popular types of soup include tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, and split pea soup

In this Post we are going to discuss about soups, clear soup, broths meaning, types of soups

Soups : Les Potages

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

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


The domesticted birds which are rared 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 gets 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 very less amount of butter or fat and also not very spicy,it can be easily an ideal food for invalids.

Types of Soup

The Soup may be classified in the following manner:-

 1. Clear Soups

clear soup
clear soup

Consommés are refined clear soups prepared from good quality stocks, which are flavoured and clarified, by a combination of ingredients. Clear soup is a soup that is made by simmering veggies, & or meat in a liquid until all the flavors are released. These soups are clear and are great for those on a liquid diet. Clear soups are made without the addition of any spices, starch or any other flavoring ingredients.

Also Check: Cream Soup

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 to stand for a period prior to cooking.
  • Use fat-free stock in order to prevent excess fat 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 is 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.
  • Raft is not very much compact due to poor coagulation.
  • Stirring after boiling ,will prevent clarification by re mixing 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                                                           consommé Ordinnair

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 pepper50 g

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 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 to simmer 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 TermIngredient
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 cooking period) Tomato puree (add to consommé throughout cooking period) Garnish : 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)Sherry
Consommé Tortue (Consommé with turtle flavour)1 sachet of turtle herbs *Diced cooked turtle meat Sherry Add turtle herbs to prepare consommé and infuse for 20 minutes before removing sachet
Consommé Royal (Consommé with savoury egg custard)Cooked egg custard

2.  Broths                                  Bouillons-Potages


Broths Meaning

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 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 preparations.

  1. When the vegetables are added directly to stock base which contains a meat ingredient, e.g. stewing mutton as for mutton broth;
  2. When the vegetables are sweated in fact without colour in the initial stages of preparation just prior to the addition of stock;
  3. Fish flavoured broths e.g. chowders
English TermMeat ContentGarnishFrench Term
Beef brothStewing beefChopped parsleyBouillon de Boeuf
Chicken brothBoilingChopped parsleyBouillon de Volaille
Game brothAssorted stewing gameChopped parsleyBouillon dep Gibier
Scotch mutton brothStewing muttonChopped parsleyPotage Eccossais
Menu TermMain VegetablesGarnish
Potage Bonne Femme (leek and potato soup)Equal quantities of leek and potato cut into paysanneCream Chopped parsley
Cocky-Leeky soupJulienne of leekJulienne cooked chicken Julienne cooked prunes Chopped parsley
Potage PaysannePaysanne of : carrot, leek, onion, potato, swede, turnip, green Cabbage, celeryGreen peace Diced French beans Chopped parsley
Minestroni (minestrone)As for Potage PaysanneTomato concasse Raw spaghetti Tomato Puree (to colour) 8 Garlic pellets Grated parmesan cheese to accompany

Thick Soups

1. Purees.

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

  1. Vegetables containing a high percentage of starch e.g. – pulse vegetables.
  2. Aqueous Vegetables i.e. watery vegetables e.g. celery, leaks 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 a starchy food to effect cohesion.  The ingredients most commonly 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).Its then reheated for correcting the seasonings and consistency.Puree soup are always garnished with crutons.

English Term-main ingredientIngredient for GarnishFrench Term      
Puree of haricot bean soupChopped parsleyPotage Soissonnaise
Puree of red bean soupFinish with dry red winePotage Conde
Puree of lentil soupChopped parsleyPotage de Lentilles
Puree of lentil soupDiced cooked bacon Pinch of chopped chervilPortage Conti    
Puree of lentil soupBoiled rice ButterPotage Esati
Puree of green split pea soup Potage St. Germain
Puree of yellow split pea soupChopped parsleyPotage Egyptienne

2.  Creams    / Cremes

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 voloute 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 ingredientIngredient for garnishFrench Term  
Cream of asparagus soupCooked asparagus tipsCrème d’Asperges
Cream of carrot soupChopped parsleyCrème de Carrottes
Cream of carrot soupAs above plus boiled riceCream Crecy
Cream of cauliflower soupSmall cooked sprigs of cauliflowerCrème de Chou-fleur/Dubarry
Cream of celery soupCooked julienne of celeryCrème de Celeri
Cream of cucumber soupSmall cucumber ballsCrème Concombre/Doria
Cream of leek soup Crème Poireaux
Cream of lettuce soupShredded lettuce lightly sweatedCrème de Laitue/Judic
English Term main ingredientIngredient for GarnishFrench Term  
Cream of mushroom soup (1/5 main unit may be used 160 g (6 oz)Julienne of cooked mushroomsCrème de Champignons
Cream of onion soup Crème d’Oignon
Cream of spinach soup Crème d’Epinards/Florentine
Cream of sweet corn soupCooked corn kernelsCrème de Mais/Washington
Cream of vegetable soup Crème de legumes
Cream of watercress soupBlanched watercress leavesCrème Cressonniere

3. Veloute Soups                                                             Veloutes

The French word veloute 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 veloute sauce, which may be flavoured using different stock bases according to requirements.  When preparing meat, poultry, or fish veloutes the predominant flavour is determined by the stock used.  Alternatively when producing aqueous vegetable veloute soups the flavour of the main vegetable predominates.

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

Menu termMain stockIngredient
Veloute de Vollaille (Chicken Veloute)ChickenJulienne of cooked chicken
Veloute de Poisson (fish veloute)FishChopped parsley
Veloure Dieppoise (mussel veloute)Fish and mussel cooking liquorBudded mussels Shrimps/Prawns Chopped parsley
Veloute aux Huitres (oyster veloute)Fish and oyster cooking liquor8 poached oysters Chopped parsleys

4.         Shellfish Soups                                                                       Bisques

Bisques may be defined as thickened, passed, classical seafood soups prepared from a base of 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 TermMain Shellfish and preparationIngredient
Bisque de Crab (crab bisque)Crab Claws (cracked)White crab meat
Bisque de Homard (lobster bisque)Lobster, split (sack removed from head), claws cracked, remainder cut into piecesDiced, cooked lobster meat, flavoured with branch)
Bisque de Crevettes (prawn or shrimp bisque)Whole prawns or shrimpsCooked prawns or shrimps

5. Chowder

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 speciality made with meat , fish ,vegetables along with milk ,pork belly ,tomato concasse and seasonings.Prior to the service crushed cracker biscuits or a thickner.Alternatively Chowder may be thickned with Beurre Manie.

English TermMain ShellfishGarnish
Calm chowderClamsChopped parsley
Mussel chowderMusselsChopped parsley
Oyster chowderOystersChopped parsley
Scallop chowderScallopsChopped parsley
Seafood chowderAssorted shellfishChopped parsley

Special and National Soups

Special soups are those that 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.


Mock Turtle Soup………………………………………..U S A.


Scotch Broth………………………………………………Scotland.

Olla Porida……………………………………………….Spain.

Oxtail Soup……………………………………………….English.

Vichyssoise (cold)………………………………………..U S A

Zuppa Pa vese…………………………………………….Italy.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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