English Soups



Soup is a savory liquid food that is made by combining ingredients, such as meat, vegetables and beans in stock or hot water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers about 5,000 years ago, so soups presumably were little-known before that time.

Over the centuries, the terms gruel and potage have become separated from broth and stock (and their refinement, consomme). The language may have shifted over time, but the modern definitions of soup and stew were established in the 18th century: soups usually are more liquid; stews are thicker, containing more solid ingredients. Stews are cooked in covered containers for longer periods of time, at a gentle boil with less water and at a lower heat.

English Soup recipes Traditionally, soups are classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consomme. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purees are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from pureed shellfish thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with bechamel sauce; and veloutes are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grain.
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