Monday Morning Post for 1-18-10
Making a Roux
A roux (pronounced roo) is a flour and butter paste that's used for thickening soups, sauces and gravies.
By mixing the flour and butter together, the butter is able to surround the flour particles preventing them from forming lumps when liquid is added. A roux is most often made with butter but can also be made with oil, bacon fat, beef drippings, chicken fat or a combination.
Not all soups are made with a roux but many are and using a roux as the basis of a soup is one of the easiest ways to turn plain milk or broth into cream of what-ever-you-like soup.
You'll use this same technique to make cream sauces and cheese sauces, too. Using a roux as a thickener is a much nicer tasting method of thickening than just mixing flour or cornstarch into water.
Carrot - Ginger Soup
For a bistro touch, spoon 1 tablespoon cream into the center of each portion. Insert the tip of a knife into cream and gently swirl to create a pattern on top of the soup.
Serves 4 -6
3 carrots (each about 6 inches long X 1 inch in diameter - peeled and cut into 1/2 inch circles)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or to taste)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
3/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup orange juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Garnish - finely shredded zest of 1 orange
Simmer carrots in broth (partially cover the pot) until soft - about 10 minutes. Cool slightly then puree carrots and broth together. Set aside.
In another pot, make a roux by melting the butter and whisking in the flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in pureed carrot broth then milk, ginger and orange juice. Thin, if desired, with additional broth. Heat to steaming. Do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with finely shredded orange zest.
Cook's tip: Boiling the soup may cause it to curdle. If this happens, just puree soup again.