Chicken consommé

Photographer: Adam
serves 4

In the summer months I am all about light food, tending to steer away clear from soups because they leave me feeling ‘stodgy’. Not all soups are like that, though. For example chicken consommé—which I will always remember as it was the first soup we were taught when I was training as a chef—makes a fantastic summer soup.

Otherwise known as Consommé Celestine, this chicken soup is beautiful and light, traditionally served with tarragon crêpes sliced thinly. It has the most amazing amber hue and—if done well—is as lucid as a glacial-fed lake on a summer’s day.

To stray a little from tradition, I like garnishing mine with fresh veggies: whatever the summer months bring is fine, but for me asparagus and cherry tomatoes make the perfect accompaniment to consommé.


225g chicken mince
1 onion finely diced
2 leeks finely diced
2 celery stalks finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
Extra seasonings/herbs
½ tsp cracked black pepper
6 egg whites beaten until frothy
6 cups chicken stock
Blanched veggies to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl combine the mince, onion, leeks, celery, carrot, frothy egg whites and extra seasonings/herbs, then mix well.
2. Pour cold stock into a large stock pot, then add the veggie mix to it.
3. Place on low to medium heat. Slowly bring to boil stirring often so that the veggie mix does not stick to the bottom and burn. Once the stock has come to the boil, stop stirring. The veggie mix will form a ‘raft’* on top of the liquid. Simmer gently for one hour; don’t boil too hard or the ‘raft’ will break up.
4. When the liquid has simmered for an hour, remove from heat and let stand for 10 mins. Then strain through a sieve and some muslin cloth and serve as desired. I chose to serve mine with the veggies in the soup bowl but I’m told in Hungary they serve the soup plain and have a massive platter of cooked veggies and meat to choose from to add to their own soup.
* A raft is the solid that the egg white, chicken mince and veggies form on top of the stock. The chicken mince and veggies enhance the flavour and colour of the stock. Whilst the egg white catches the fat and impurities as the stock simmers through it, which clarifies the stock.