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The word soup comes from French word “Soupe” (soup, broth), which further comes from Latin word’ Suppa” (bread soaked in broth). The origin of soup dates back to about 6000 BC. First commercial soup was consumed in France in the 16th century.
Soup is a replenishing, aromatized and complete meal. Soups play a very important role on the menu and are served as appetizer to stimulate the appetite for the rest of the heavier foods to follow. Soups are served as a second course after the serving of hors d’oeuvres. If hors d’oeuvres is not served then the soups are served as a first course. Soup, according to the dictionary, is a liquid food derived from meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables. Most of these soups, no matter what their final ingredients may be, are completely based on stock. Thus, the quality of the soup depends on the quality of the stock used in the preparation of the soup. Definitions aren’t rules, so don’t be alarmed if you hear other books or chefs use these terms differently. What matters is that you learn the techniques and are able to adapt them to many uses.
Chef Escoffier’s Classification of Soups
  1. Clear Soup
  2. Purees
  3. Cullises
  4. Bisques
  5. Veloutes
  6. Cream Soup
  7. Special Soup
  8. Vegetable Soup
  9. Foreign Soup


Modern Classification of Soups
Soups can be divided into three basic categories: thick soups, thin soup which is further divided in to passed & unpassed soup, cold soup and International soup which are basically special and famous soup from various countries.
Thin Soup
Thin soups are all based on a clear, unthickened broth or stock. They may be served plain or garnished with a variety of vegetables and meats.
Thin soup is further dived into two category i.e. Passed soup or Clear soup and Unpassed soup
Passed or Clear Soup

It as soup which is basically strained after preparation with the help of a strainer or a muslin cloth the specialty of this soup is that it is simple, clear, transparent, flavorful and without any solid ingredients. This can be made from Poultry, Beef, Veal and Vegetables Example: Consommé

When we define consommé as a clarified stock, we are forgetting the most important part of the definition. The word consommé means, literally, “completed” or “concentrated.” In other words, a consommé is a strong, concentrated stock. In classical cuisine, this was all that was necessary for a stock to be called a consommé. In fact, two kinds were recognized: ordinary (or unclarified) consommé and clarified consommé. Rule number one for preparing consommé is that the stock must be strong, rich, and full-flavored. Clarification is second in importance to strength. A good consommé, with a mellow but full aroma and plenty of body (from the natural gelatin) you can feel in your mouth, is one of the great pleasures of fine cuisine. But clarification is an expensive and time-consuming procedure, and, quite frankly, it’s not worth the trouble if the soup is thin and watery.
How Clarification Works
Coagulation of proteins is an important subject in stock-making because one of our major concerns was how to keep coagulated proteins from making the stock cloudy. Strangely enough, this same process of coagulation enables us to clarify stocks to perfect transparency. Remember that some proteins, especially those called albumins, dissolve in cold water. When the water is heated, they gradually solidify or coagulate and rise to the surface. If we control this process carefully, these proteins collect all the tiny particles that cloud a stock and carry them to the surface. The stock is then left perfectly clear. If, on the other hand, we are not careful, these proteins break up as they coagulate and cloud the liquid even more, just as they can do when we make stock.
Basic Ingredients in Consomme
The mixture of ingredients we use to clarify a stock is called the clearmeat or the clarification.
Lean ground meat is one of the major sources of protein that enables the clearmeat to do its job. It also contributes flavor to the consommé. The meat must be lean because fat is undesirable in a consommé. Beef shank, also called shin beef, is the most desirable meat because it is high in albumin proteins as well as in flavor and gelatin, and it is very lean. Beef and/or chicken meat are used to clarify chicken consommé. Meat is not used, obviously, to make fish consommé. Ground lean fish may be used, but it is normal to omit flesh altogether and use only egg whites.
Egg whites are included in the clearmeat because, being mostly albumin, they greatly strengthen its clarifying power.
Mirepoix and other seasoning and flavoring ingredients are usually included because they add flavor to the finished consommé. They do not actually help in the clarification, except possibly to give solidity to the raft. The raft is the coagulated clearmeat, floating in a solid mass on top of the consommé. The mirepoix must be cut into fine pieces so it will float with the raft. A large amount of a particular vegetable may be added if a special flavor is desired, as in, for example, essence of celery consommé.


Acid ingredients (tomato products for beef or chicken consommé, lemon juice or white wine for fish consommé) are often added because the acidity helps coagulate the protein. They are not absolutely necessary—the heat will coagulate the protein anyway— but many chefs like to use them.
Unpassed Soup

The properties of this soup is same as of Clear soup except for this is not strained and has solid ingredients in it. The preparation method is same and can be prepared from Beef, Veal, Poultry and Vegetables. Example: Broths and Bouillons

The difference between a broth and a stock is that a broth, according to the most common definition, is made by simmering meat and vegetables, while a stock is made by simmering bones and vegetables. Because of this difference, a well-made stock is generally richer in gelatin content than a broth, because gelatin is derived from cartilage and connective tissue. A broth, on the other hand, usually has a more pronounced flavor of meat or poultry than a stock. A more neutral flavor is desired in a stock, which is used as the base for many sauces as well as soups. A broth, on the other hand, is an excellent choice as the base of a soup when a distinct meat flavor is desired. Nevertheless, broths are not often specially made in food-service operations. The cost of the meat makes them expensive, unless the meat can be used for another purpose, or unless the restaurant has a good supply of meat trimmings that might otherwise be wasted. Instead, broth is usually a byproduct of simmering meat or poultry. The recipes for Simmered Fresh Beef Brisket and for “Boiled” produce not only the cooked meat or poultry but also flavorful broths that can be served as soups when properly seasoned and garnished. Note that the broths resulting from both these recipes are white. To prepare a brown meat broth, follow the procedure in the recipe for Simmered Fresh Beef Brisket, but brown the meat and mirepoix well before adding water. Flavorful cuts such as beef shank, chuck, and neck are good for making broths. For those operations that determine that making broths especially for soups is cost effective.


Broths can be served as is, with only seasoning and perhaps a light garnish added. For example, plain chicken broth is commonly served as a restorative for invalids. More often, however, broths are used in place of stocks in vegetable soups and other clear soups. Like stock, broth can be made with water. For especially rich, flavorful broths, use stock in place of water in the broth recipe.



Bouillon is often used in synonymous with broth. The term also pertains to the condensed-cube and powder forms of broth, used to add a burst of flavor to some recipes. Court-bouillon typically refers to recipes calling for seafood. Because of the short cooking time required for fish and shellfish, court bouillon is also flavored with vegetables and aromatics, such as celery and carrots, before the main ingredient is added
Thick Soup
Unlike thin soups, thick soups are opaque rather than transparent. They are thickened either by adding a thickening agent, such as a roux, or by puréeing one or more of their ingredients to provide a heavier consistency. The difference between thick soup and unpassed soup is that thick soup is viscous in nature. Thick soups are further classified depending upon the thickening agents used.
Cream Soup
This soup is prepared from the puree of vegetables, meat, fish or poultry, the name cream soup is usually given after the main ingredients example Creme de Tomate, which is a cream soup made from Tomato. Cream soup are soups thickened with roux, beurre manié, liaison, or other added thickening agents, plus milk and/or cream. They are similar to velouté and béchamel sauces—in fact, they may be made by diluting and flavoring either of these two leading sauces. Milk is sometimes used to dilute the soup in order to get the correct consistency.
Quality Standards for Cream Soup
Thickness. About the consistency of heavy cream. Not too thick.
Texture. Smooth; no graininess or lumps (except garnish, of course).
Taste. Distinct flavor of the main ingredient (asparagus in cream of asparagus, etc.). No starchy taste from uncooked roux.
Curdling is a common problem with cream soup as it made with cream or milk or both, the cause behind curdling of the soup can be either the acidity content of many soup ingredients like tomato or heat of cooking can also be the cause of it.
Roux and other starch thickeners are used to stabilize milk and cream in order to avoid curdling while making a sauce but soups are relatively thin as compared with sauce and contain less amount of starch, so the fear of curdling is always there, therefore precaution should be taken to avoid this.
Following guidelines should be taken to prevent curdling of the sauce-
1) Do not combine milk and simmering soup stock without the presence of roux or other starch. Do one of the following:
     a) Thicken the stock before adding milk.
     b) Thicken the milk before adding it to the soup.
2) Do not add cold milk or cream to simmering soup. Do one of the following:
     a) Heat the milk in a separate saucepan.
    b) Temper the milk by gradually adding some of the hot soup to it. Then add it to the rest of the soup.
3) Do not boil soups after milk or cream is added.
Veloute Soup
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 flavored using different stock bases according to requirements.  When preparing meat, poultry, or fish veloutes the predominant flavor is determined by the stock used.  Alternatively when producing aqueous vegetable veloute soups the flavor 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 boiled again otherwise it will take on a curdled appearance, a result of egg yolk coagulation.
Puree Soup
Purée soups are made by simmering dried or fresh vegetables, especially high-starch vegetables, in stock or water, then puréeing the soup. Purées are normally based on starchy ingredients. They may be made from dried legumes (such as split pea soup) or from fresh vegetables with a starchy ingredient, such as potatoes or rice, added. Purées may or may not contain milk or cream. Purees are relatively easy to prepare. Purée soups are not as smooth and refined as cream soups but are heartier and coarser in texture and character. Techniques vary greatly depending on the ingredients and the desired result.
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, 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 croutons.
Chowder Soup
Chowders are chunky, hearty soups made from fish, shellfish, and/or vegetables so full of good things they sometimes are more like stews than soups. Many types of chowder are simply cream soups or purée soups that are not puréed but left chunky. Like other specialty regional soups, chowders resist categorization. However, most of them are based on fish or shellfish or vegetables, and most contain potatoes and milk or cream.
Chowder soups are originated from America. 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, and vegetables along with milk, pork belly, tomato concasse and seasonings. Chowder may be thickened with Beurre Manie and crackers are added prior to the service of this soup.
Bisques Soup
A bisque (bisk) is a cream soup made with shellfish. At one time, bisques were thickened with rice, but today they are more frequently thickened with roux. Bisques are made basically like other cream soups, but they seem more complex because of the handling of the shellfish and the variety of flavoring ingredients often used. Expensive to prepare and rich in taste, they are considered luxury soups. The term bisque has come to be used for a great variety of soups, primarily because the word sounds nice. Bisque is generally used for shellfish soups but nevertheless, you will also see the word bisque applied to many of the vegetable purée soups and cream soups. Bisques may be defined as thickened, passed, classical seafood soups prepared from a base of fish stock flavored 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 flavor and the high cost of production bisques are best suited to service at dinner.
Linguists say the most likely origin of the word bisque is Biscay, the name of the bay off the coast of southwestern France and northwestern Spain. It is sometimes said the word comes from biscuit, because the soup was once thickened by dried bread, but language experts say there is no evidence for this origin.
Cold Soup
Cold soups are those soups which include the natural gelatin’s jellies to make meat stocks or by addition of gelatin powder or those that are thickened with a starch or puree. Cold consommé madrilène is popular cold soup. Vichyssoise is a cold soup and a rich cream of potato soup and garnish with chopped chives. Andalouse gazpacho is a refreshing tomato and cucumber soup with a garnish of thin strips of pimentos, cumin seeds for flavor accompanied with croutons. Now, it has become a pattern of the parties in the summer to serve cold soups. So without cold soups the summer menu is incomplete.
National/Special Soup
Special soups are those that are made with unusual ingredients and are prepared by a distinctive method. So they are termed as National Soups. There are numerous varieties of international soups such as cold, hot, thin or thick etc. international soups are those soups which are originated from the different places and locality within the different countries. These soups are basically having a great tradition and that’s why they are known by their country. They are placed in a different category also their names should appear on the menu in the language of the country of its origins as they have different origins. Some of famous international soups are below
Minestrone                                                      Italy
Green Turtle Soup                                           England
French Onion Soup                                         France
Petite Marmite                                                 France
Scotch Broth                                                    Scotland
Mulligatawny                                                  India
Gazpacho                                                         Spain
Manhattan Clam Chowder                               America
Camaro                                                             Brazil
Laberkroedel                                                     Germany
Paprika                                                              Hungary
Bortsch Polonais                                               Poland
Hotch Pot Flamanda                                         Belgium
Cock-a-Leekie                                                  Scotland
Creole                                                                New Orleans
Mock Turtule Soup                                           U.S.A.
Boillabaisse a La Provencale                             France
Chicken Broth                                                    England
Busecca                                                              Italy
Olla Podrida                                                       Spain
Oxtail Soup                                                        England
Vichyssoise (cold)                                              U.S.A.

Zuppa Pa Vese                                                    Italy

Service of Soup
  • Standard Portion Sizes
  • Appetizer portion: 6 to 8 oz (200 to 250 mL)
  • Main course portion: 10 to 12 oz (300 to 350 mL)
  • Temperature
  • Serve hot soups hot, in hot cups or bowls.
  • Serve cold soups cold, in chilled bowls or even nested in a larger bowl of crushed ice.


Holding for Service
Strangely enough, some chefs who take the greatest care not to overcook meats or vegetables nevertheless keep a large kettle of soup on the steam table all day. You can imagine what a vegetable soup is like after four or five hours at that temperature.
Small-batch cooking applies to soups as well as to other foods. Heat small batches frequently to replenish the steam table with fresh soup.
Consommés and some other clear soups can be kept hot for longer periods if the vegetable garnish is heated separately and added at service time.
Soup garnishes may be divided into three groups.
Garnishes in the soup. Major ingredients, such as the vegetables in clear vegetable soup, are often considered garnishes. This group of garnishes also includes meats, poultry, seafood, pasta products, and grains such as barley or rice. They are treated as part of the preparation or recipe itself, not as something added on. Consommés are generally named after their garnish, such as consommé brunoise, which contains vegetables cut into brunoise shape [1⁄8-inch (3-mm) dice]. Vegetable cream soups are usually garnished with carefully cut pieces of the vegetable from which they are made. An elegant way to serve soup with a solid garnish is to arrange the garnish attractively in the bottom of a heated soup plate. This plate is set before the diner, and then the soup is ladled from a tureen by the dining room staff.
Toppings. Clear soups are generally served without toppings to let the attractiveness of the clear broth and the carefully cut vegetables speak for themselves. Occasional exceptions are toppings of chopped parsley or chives. Thick soups, especially those that are all one color, are often decorated with a topping. Toppings should be placed on the soup just before service so they won’t sink or lose their fresh appearance. Their flavors must be appropriate to the soup. Do not overdo soup toppings. The food should be attractive in itself. Topping suggestions for thick soups include the following: fresh herbs (parsley, chives), chopped croutons, fine julienne of vegetables, grated parmesan cheese, sliced almonds, toasted crumbled bacon, grated cheese paprika, sieved egg yolks, flavored butter, chopped or diced egg white, flavored oil, fried herbs, such as parsley, sage, chervil, celery leaves, leek julienne, sour cream, crème fraîche, or whipped cream, either plain or flavored with herbs or spices.


Accompaniments. American soups are traditionally served with crackers. In addition to the usual saltines, other suggestions for crisp accompaniments are: Melba toast, Cheese straws. Corn chips, Whole-grain wafers, Breadsticks, Profiteroles (tiny unsweetened cream-puff shells).


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1 Comment

  1. Useful and simple explanation

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