Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!
Stock is something I have never made before. It’s something that I’ve more or less taken for granted. As in, I will run out to the store and grab a can when needed.
What an assignment for my very first Daring Cooks post!
My dad, who was the chef in the family, would always make wonderful soups and broths using all sorts of great Asian vegetables. It is one of my favorite memories from my childhood. I can practically smell the deliciousness right now.
Making soup stock from scratch was already a challenge for me, but since I decided on a vegetarian version I’m sure I made things much easier for myself.
Until… I got to the consommé part. Uh oh.
Okay, so I’m not a professional chef. But more than that, I’m impatient and don’t follow directions very well. My dad always improvises in the kitchen and cooks by taste, and what can I say? I’m my dad’s child.
I wanted to add a little something to this vegetable soup, and I’ve had my eye on this recipe by epicurious for a little while, and I knew I had to make some sweet potato wontons of my own.
On my first attempt, I tried steaming the wontons in the same bowl as the boiling vegetables. Big mistake. Huge.
All but one of my wontons fell apart. Not my proudest moment in the kitchen.
On attempt #2. I steamed the wontons in a steamer (on top of some parchment paper).
The result: Much, much better.
Not too shabby for my first attempt at homemade soup stock, and what a fun challenge!
Have you ever made your own soup stock before? Have you gone so far as to make consommé?
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
4 celery sticks, cut into 2 inch long sections
8 cups of water
4 dried shitake mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, peeled
ginger, 2 inch piece peeled and cut in half
2 stalks of parsley
2 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
1. Heat vegetable oil in large pot over medium high heat.
2. Add onion, carrot and celery and stir-fry for about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Add water, then rest of ingredients.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat down and let soup simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Strain the soup and discard vegetables, etc.
Soup to Consommé
Vegetable soup stock
Egg whites from 2 eggs
1. Heat the stock in a large pot over medium heat, just to a simmer.
2. Whisk the egg whites into a bubbly froth in a small mixing bowl.
3. Add the egg whites to the stock, whisk for a slow count of three.
4. Let the stock heat slowly back to a simmer. Don’t stir it again.
5. When the egg white raft that has formed on top becomes substantial, discard the raft and strain the remaining consommé.
6. Optional: I also strained through a coffee filter to attempt to further clarify the liquid.
Vegetable Soup with Sweet Potato Wontons (makes 2 servings)
1 medium sweet potato
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 wonton wrappers
2 cups bok choy, sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 package of enoki mushrooms
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups vegetable stock or consommé
1. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a knife or a toothpick, then heat in the microwave for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the potato is soft to the touch.
2. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium high heat and saute garlic for about 1 minute. Then transfer to a small mixing bowl.
3. Peel skin off sweet potato, mash and mix with garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Lay a wonton wrapper in palm of your hand, then drop a small ball of potato mixture in the center of the wrapper, and make a fist to gather edges of the wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
5. Steam the wontons in a steamer for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the wrappers turn translucent.
6. Place bok choy, bean sprouts and mushrooms in a medium pot, add water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn heat off.
7. Heat vegetable stock/consommé in medium pot.
8. Remove bok choy, bean sprouts, mushrooms and wontons from pot and arrange in two soup bowls.
9. Pour vegetable stock/consommé over the vegetables and wontons in the soup bowls.
10. Serve and enjoy!