Well hello again everyone,
This week we tackled the soup module, and it has been an incredible whirlwind. Since Tuesday I have produced about 8 soups, and I am sure that tomorrow I will have to make at least 3 more. For this module we are only allotted four days and so my class has been madly chopping, stirring and whisking.
So far I have come to understand that most soups follow the same methodology, first a fat is used to sweat the vegetables (allowing them to soften and cook in their own juices without browning):
Next a roux is made for creamy soups (cooked mixture of wheat flour and fat, traditionally clarified butter) or if not, then a broth is added. The next step has us bringing the liquid to a boil and then reducing it to a simmer, and that is all is takes!
Of course it is much easier said then done but those are be basics. Some of the soups I have made this week have been, Leek and Potato Vichyssoise, Potage Crécy (carrot soup), Clam Cowder, Split Pea Soup, Minestrone and even Thai Mushroom and Coconut Soup.
Much like George on Seinfeld, I have also come to understand that soups are quite dangerous. No, I will never withhold bread from anyone, but this week alone we had several severed fingers, in addition to the multiple burns caused by the boiling liquids. I have been so nervous about cutting myself that today while preparing my minestrone I was making my cuts so slowly, the mise en place took an hour!
Although I am sure my mother would be happy that I am taking all the extra precautions my teacher was hoping I would just hurry it up 😦
Last but not least I want to share with you a nice story about me. So on Tuesday I got the instruction from my teacher to prepare a fish stock that we would be needing to use throughout the week for various soups. So I made my mise en places, organized all my equipment and got to work. I followed the proper methodology and thought I was doing a phenomenal job until about half way through the cooking time – I saw that the fish was still swimming!!
I went to check on my stock and instead of it being a nice beige color, it was a dark brown. There is really only one explanation for such an outcome, and that it burning the mirepoix (celery, onion, carrots). So not only did I have to scrub my pot on Tuesday, soak it overnight, continue scrubbing on Wednesday, soak it again overnight, and finally today, complete the scrubbing of the burnt fish stock pot. So hopefully I have learned my lesson and will keep a better watch on any subsequent pot I put on the stove, and hopefully so will all of you!
Goodnight everyone, and don’t forget to check back with me tomorrow for two great soup recipes.