The Basic Rules to Serving Soups


1. Unless you use extraordinary ingredients, a soup is always a much less expensive first course than any fish or shellfish.

2. Since making a large amount of soup requires hardly more time or energy than making a smaller amount, it is a good idea to prepare a double or triple batch and freeze what is not needed immediately, unless otherwise directed in the recipe. Freeze only the plain soup base and, for the sake of freshness, garnish with a fresh garnish of your choice just before serving.

3. The type of soup you should serve will depend on the remainder of the meal. If the main course is to be sauced with a rich white sauce or emulsified butter sauce, the best soup is a clear consomme; if, on the contrary, the main course is a lean piece of broiled fish or meat, or a simple roasted chicken, either a cream soup or a pure vegetarian soup is perfectly fine.

4 . Serving wine with soup: No wine is usually served with soup, but, of course, there are exceptions:

In England one often meets with the most pleasant custom of being served a glass of Madeira or dry sherry with one's potage.

If a soup is sturdy enough to become a main meal, that is, if it contains a lot of vegetables including legumes and some meat or meat replacement such as tofu, and/or is garnished with grated and shredded cheese, you may want to serve a wine with it. In this case, choose the one you like best; if the meat in the soup is red, it can be a red wine such as a Pinot Noir, Gamay Beaujolais, or even any Rose or, if the meat is a poultry, a white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Gewurztraminer.

Fish soups are usually served as a full-course meal, and accompanied by a dry white wine.


The New Making of a Cook
The Art, Techniques, and Science of Good Cooking
by Madeleine Kamman
William Morrow
Oct. 1997, $40 hardcover
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The New Making of a Cook

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