‘As for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough I shall send round my cards.’

Whenever I think of a white soup I think potatoes, onion, leek, cream, maybe almonds. From the historical recipes it was easy for me to see how this could develop, many sounding delicious right off the bat. I loved the inclusion of veal knuckle.

Since white soup was an aristocratic dish, served at a ball or banquet, we’re looking for clean, elegant presentation, which means pouring the soup tableside. The overall dish is grand, like the people who ate it, but the ingredients and garnish are simple. Use different variations of items in the soup and fry the leeks for a crunch factor. Include watercress and Espelette pepper for a spice element to offset the fat from the cream and bacon.

You’ll want to lick the bowl.

 

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WHITE SOUP

Servings 8
Author Eric

Ingredients

  • 200 g veal knuckle
  • 200 g veal breast
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 300 g chicken wings
  • 200 g bacon
  • 4 leeks
  • 3 large white onions
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 20 g peppercorns
  • 5 g cloves
  • 25 g rock salt
  • 550 ml cream
  • 1.1 litre almond milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 7 sprigs thyme
  • 8 quail eggs
  • Water

Instructions

METHOD FOR BOUILLON

  1. Quarter the chicken. This is for a bouillion so simply take your knife and cut the chicken in half, between the breast. Now take the two halves and cut them between the thighs and breasts.

  2. Cut the veal knuckle, veal breast and bacon into a large dice.
  3. Cut one leek, one onion and celery into a large dice.
  4. Roast bacon and veal knuckle in 350°F/180°C oven for approximately 90 minutes or until there is a nice deep roast on the bones. Then set aside. Be sure not to over roast. If any piece are burnt discard, if you use these burnt pieces it will turn your bouillon bitter and ruin your soup.

  5. In a big stockpot, add the chicken, veal breast, bacon and veal knuckle and add enough water to cover.
  6. Bring to boil and skim off any residue that floats to the top.
  7. Add 2 cups of ice.
  8. Bring to boil and skim again.
  9. Add salt, all the herbs and vegetables.
  10. Simmer for 3.5 hours, then remove from heat and allow to rest for another hour.
  11. Strain and set aside.

SOUP

  1. Thinly slice the remaining onions, leeks and potatoes.
  2. Sweat the onions and leeks. When translucent and tender add the stock and potatoes.

  3. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, approximately 20 minutes (this is important because overcooked potatoes will not leave you with the desired consistency).

  4. Add the cream, bring to boil, immediately remove from heat and blend.
  5. Strain the soup from the blender and then add to a new heavy bottom stock pot.

  6. Slowly add the soup to temper the egg yolks.

  7. Add the almond milk, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and never letting the soup reach a boil. If the soup boils, the almond milk will curdle and ruin the soup’s consistency.

  8. Serve with garnish.

FOR FRIED LEEKS

  1. Cut the bottom 6cm off the two leeks.
  2. Cut only the white part of leeks as thin as possible.
  3. Blanch for about 45 seconds, dry well.
  4. Fry on high heat, stirring constantly.The finished product should be crispy but with no colour.

  5. Season with salt.

FOR BABY LEEKS

  1. Blanch in heavily salted water for about 5 minutes or until tender. They should have a very soft bite left to them.

FOR QUAIL EGG

  1. Sauté in a non-stick pan on one side until the egg is cooked but the yolk is still runny.