Cream soup and bechamel sauce how to...



This method of making Cream soups is suitable for unstarchy vegetables. The method is similar for poultry, fish and shellfish, where steps 4-6 are omitted. Make additions at step 7. For starchy vegetables, omit steps 1-3 and add liquid in step 7. To serve the soup chilled, omit the final addition of butter which would make the soup greasy.

SERVES 4

- 1 large cucumber or 2 ridge cucumbers
- 1 medium-sized onion salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 50 g [2 oz] butter
- 75 ml [3 fI oz] thick Cream

For the bechamel sauce:

- 550 ml [1 pt] milk
- half a small carrot
- quarter of a celery stalk
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and white pepper
- pinch of nutmeg or mace
- 25 g [1 oz] butter
- 25 g [1 oz] flour


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1 Prepare vegetables and place them in milk with bay leaf. Bring slowly to the boil. Then cover and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

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2 Make a roux with the butter and flour, remove from the heat and gradually stir in the strained re-warmed milk

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3 Return the pan to low heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg or mace, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

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4 Meanwhile, wipe clean and chop the cucumber. Don't peel the cucumber as the skin will add colour. Peel and chop the onion.

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5 Melt25 g [1 oz] butter in a heavy based saucepan over a gentle heat. As soon as the butter has melted add the vegetables.

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6 Cover pan and cook over gentle heat, shaking occasionally or stirring with a wooden spoon so vegetables cook evenly.

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7 Add the softened vegetables to the bechamel sauce and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

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8 Reduce the contents of the pan to a puree using a vegetable mill, sieve or liquidizer. The liquidizer is probably the quickest to use.

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9 Return the soup to the pan and place over a low heat. Taste and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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10 Measure the Cream into a small bowl. Spoon in about 60 ml [4 tablespoons] of the hot soup and stir vigorously to mix thoroughly.

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11 Pour the Cream and soup mixture back into the hot soup, whisking it in with a balloon or sauce whisk or stirring with a wooden spoon.

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12 Reheat the soup carefully but do not allow it to boil or it will spoil. Meanwhile, cut the remaining butter into small pieces.

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13 Stir or whisk the butter, one piece at a time, into the hot soup to give a final gloss. Adjust the seasoning and serve.
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