A bit of magic in your kitchen! This soup requires ‘clarification’ in order to become a true consommé. Clarification is a simple and very effective way of making a liquid clear, regardless if it’s cold (wine) of warm. The goal of clarification is to remove all insoluble matter before serving (or bottling in case of wine). The ‘matter’ is in most cases too small to be removed using a filter. Hence clarification. In this case we use a mixture of tomatoes, basil and egg white, the so-called clarifique.
We use yellow tomatoes to create a bit of a surprise. When you use red tomatoes your guests will immediately guess it’s a consommé of tomatoes. Using yellow tomatoes will definitely surprise them. Plus we think the yellow ones are a bit more gently, fresher, more refined.
You could also use all of the tomatoes for the soup and add ravioli to the consommé: turning it into Ravioli in Brodo.
A quick comment before you start on this week’s special: it’s a bit of work and it requires a bit of patience as well. It’s not your ordinary soup!
Here is what you need:
- 6 yellow tomatoes
- 2 Shallots
- 1 Glove of Fresh garlic
- 1/2 Red pepper
- Bay Leaf
- Black Pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 Egg whites
Peel all 6 tomatoes by leaving them for 10-15 seconds in gently boiling water. Cool and peel, one by one. Keep the skin. Set 2 tomatoes aside. Chop the 4 tomatoes in smaller bits. Add butter and olive oil to the pan and gently glace the chopped shallot for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the finely chopped red pepper and leave for 1 minute. Now add the tomatoes and the peel and fry for a minute or so. Then add thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Taste and if so required add a touch of black pepper. If you do so, leave for an extra 5 minutes. Adding pepper later on is not a good idea because you want a completely clear soup. Pass through a sieve and cool to room temperature.
Remove seeds and the internal white from the two tomatoes, keeping the outside of the tomatoes only. Set the outside apart. Using a bowl create a mixture of tomato left overs, cooked garlic, lots of basil and the two egg whites. Mix with a spoon and then blender a few seconds. This is the clarifique.
Transfer the soup to a pan and add the clarifique. Stir with a spoon, making sure the mixture is homogenous. Start heating the mixture gently, until just below boiling. Some people will argue it’s should be 80º Celsius, exactly, which we think is not the case. You don’t want it to boil because that will destroy the funny looking cake on top of the mixture. Leave it for 30 minutes. No lid required.
Now use a slotted spoon to remove most of the cake. You can simply throw it away. Pour the liquid into a sieve lined with wet cheesecloth (or a clean cotton kitchen towel if you cannot find a cheesecloth, as long it’s odour free it will work; if not odour free soak in water for 24 hours). And Lo and Behold: you have a clear soup, a true consommé! Just taste it and be surprised! Herbs, even basil and of course tomato.
Cut the remains of the 2 tomatoes in small chunks and put them in a warm soup plate and transfer to the table. Pour the consommé around the tomato and enjoy!