The Tomato consommé

 

Tomato consommé is a clear and flavourful broth made primarily from tomatoes that have been clarified to remove impurities, resulting in a concentrated tomato flavour. Here's a general process for preparing tomato consommé:

 

1. Prepare the Tomato Base: Start by selecting ripe tomatoes. You can use a combination of fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes for convenience. If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath. Peel off the skins and remove the seeds. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

 

2. Simmer the Tomato Base: Place the chopped tomatoes in a pot and add a small amount of water or tomato juice. Simmer the tomatoes gently over low heat until they break down and release their juices. This helps extract the flavours from the tomatoes.

 

3. Strain the Tomato Base: Line a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth with a coffee filter or muslin cloth. Place it over a bowl or pot to catch the liquid. Pour the simmered tomato mixture into the sieve or cloth and let it strain slowly. You can also gently press down on the solids to extract more liquid, but avoid forcing the solids through, as it can cloud the consommé.

 

4. Clarify the Liquid: To clarify the strained tomato liquid, you can use a method similar to the clarification process used for other consommés. Create a mixture of ground meat (such as beef or chicken), egg whites, and finely chopped vegetables or herbs. Add this mixture to the tomato liquid and gently simmer for about 30 minutes. The proteins in the meat and egg whites will help to capture impurities and create a raft on top.

 

5. Skim and Strain: As the tomato consommé simmers, skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface with a spoon. After simmering, strain the consommé through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the raft and any remaining solids, resulting in a clear and flavourful tomato consommé.

 

6. Adjust the Flavour: Taste the consommé and adjust the seasoning as desired. You can add salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices to enhance the flavour. If desired, you can also add a touch of acid, like a squeeze of lemon juice, to brighten the flavours.

 

Tomato consommé can be enjoyed on its own as a light and refreshing soup or used as a base for other dishes. Its clear and intense tomato flavour makes it a versatile ingredient in various culinary creations.

 

 

 

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