Today saw the start of a couple of days on soup.
Chef Eric took us for the demo and made 3 soups, 2 of which we would be making in our practical.
He started with leek and potato soup. Sliced leeks and onion were sweated in butter, then chicken stock added and diced raw potato. This was simmered until the potato was soft, liquidised, and passed through a fine sieve. Some fine julienne of carrot, leek and celery was placed in a mound in the centre of a bowl and the soup poured around it.
Next was cream of cauliflower soup. A little onion and leek were sweated, then flour was mixed in. Next cauliflower florets were added, then milk and water and all simmered until soft, then liquidised and passed through a chinois. Cream was added then into a bowl and garnished with some cooked cauliflower florets and croutons.
Finally the chef made a chicken and mushroom velouté. Sliced mushrooms were sautéed in butter and a roux made in another pan and chicken stock added and brought to the boil. The mushrooms were added and the soup simmered for 15 minutes, liquidised and passed through a chinois. The soup was finished with a liaison of cream and egg yolk and garnished with julienne of mushroom and chicken breast.
For the practical we had to make the leek and potato soup and the chicken and mushroom velouté. Chef John took us for this practical.
The hardest thing for this practical was all the julienning of vegetables and chicken. Otherwise fairly straightforward, though the chef told me I’d used too much liaison in the velouté, which made it very creamy (which I don’t mind) and the leek and potato soup was underseasoned. This was after my putting the salt from a small ocean into it! Some of these chefs like a lot of salt.
It made a lovely meal with some of the rolls I made on Saturday.
Lastly we each had a tutorial with chef Eric. 10 minutes to raise any issues you have with the course so far and to get your average mark for the 1st 5 weeks. It turned out that everyone in my group had a score between 3 and 4 out of 5 and mine, at 3.717, was the second highest in my class. Really pulled the wool over their eyes!