Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Whisk Wednesdays—Velouté Agnès Sorel (Cream of Chicken Soup)

Velouté Agnès Sorel (Cream of Chicken Soup)White soup. White stock. White chicken. White button mushrooms. And a touch of pink from the ham. This is Velouté Agnès Sorel, a cream of chicken soup. Agnès Sorel was a mistress of French King Charles VII in the 1400s and this is one of several dishes named after her.

This could also be the soup mentioned in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

“As for the ball, it is quite a settled thing;
and as soon as Nicholls has
made white soup enough
I shall send round my cards.”
1. Make Stock
The first step is to make stock. Since I’m currently not in my kitchen with access to all the chicken stock piled in my freezer from earlier lessons, I made some fresh chicken stock to start this soup. {I’m visiting family and friends in Saskatchewan and having fun raiding all the cupboards for food props!} Although the first thing I was supposed to do was truss the chicken, it came that way from the grocery store so I just had to plop it into my sister’s large stock pot.

2. Prep Garnish
Next, I prepped the mushrooms and ham (since tongue, which is mentioned as an alternative, is not something I really want to eat!), slicing them into julienne. When the chicken was poached, I sliced off the breast meat and cut it into julienne too. Still practicing that julienne!

3. Make Liaison
The last step is to make the liaison, which is a mixture of cream and egg yolks that thickens the soup and adds a richness of flavor. This is the trickiest part of the recipe since the eggs can curdle. Slowly whisking some hot stock into the cream and egg mixture is key. After “tempering” the cream and egg mixture by bringing it up to a similar temperature as the stock, I combined the rest of the stock and liaison in the pot. Then, I stirred and stirred and stirred and watched it carefully on the heat to thicken it a bit more. I was careful not to let it boil, but it never thickened as much as I expected it to.

Although the name of this soup says that it is a Velouté, there is no flour in the ingredient list to make a blond roux. I imagine if I added 2 tablespoons of flour, it would be a thicker soup, but the soup doesn’t need to be thicker.

“it is the duty of every housekeeper to learn the art of soup making”
~ Fannie Farmer in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1918) ~

Ingredients for Velouté Agnès Sorel (Cream of Chicken Soup)You can find the recipe for Velouté Agnès Sorel (Cream of Chicken Soup) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with this week's recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Velouté Agnès Sorel (Cream of Chicken Soup)Tasting Notes
This was a delicate, smooth soup that absorbed a smoky flavor from the ham. The chunks of chicken, mushrooms, and ham made it meal-worthy. I added more salt to boost the flavor, but it was a creamy, delicious soup that I’d love to make again. Coriander instead of parsley and coconut milk instead of cream and a few other Thai ingredients could quickly turn this into one of my favorite Thai soups: Tom Kha Gai!

Next Week (July 30)
• Bisque de Langoustins (Langoustine Bisque) pages 185-186

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $482.99 + $17.49 (stock) + $5.80 (soup) = $506.28

Butter used so far: 6 pounds, 14 tablespoons


Anonymous said...

Your sister has great props, too. Very beautifully photographed, as always. Great post...I was wondering about the mushrooms as mine are darker, but you know what...I think I might use them anyway. I was hoping to get to it tonight yet, but it is just not happening...way too much going on...I am cooked out from cooking for everyone today and tomorrow, as Scarlet says, is another day. I will post it next week with the soup for next week as well, hopefully. Swimming championships will be over in two weeks or so, and I will have more time to cook my assignments. Thanks for being patient.

Your soup looks wonderful...I am looking forward to making it...maybe I should do mine with tongue as no one else wants to try it...LOL. Hmmmm...probably not. Have fun on vacation!

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

Shari - wonderful write up and photos as usual. You have quite a gift.

Glad you got to share the soup with family!

PheMom said...

That looks gorgeous! Just wanted to stop by real quick to say hi and tell you I gave you an award on my blog. Look for the doughnuts a couple of posts back!

NKP said...

Beautiful soup.
I am glad that you had the same experience with the thickening or lack thereof,
Lovely photos, as always!

Anonymous said...

Looks so beautiful and delicious! I really wanted to get this dish finished but I had issues. :-(

Shelley said...

Not that I'm happy that everyone else was frustrated, but I am RELIEVED to read that no one else's soup thickened either. I thought I'd really messed things up somewhere, and although I'm a pseudofoodie, I didn't think I was THAT dumb. :>)

But it was pretty good anyway, wasn't it? I love the white soup plates. I think Agnes would approve too, hee hee.