One of the many widespread cooking involves the distinction in between a stock and a broth. More confusion is included by the enhancement of consomme. It is often asserted that there is no distinction in between a stock and a broth, or that a stock is a sophisticated broth or vice versa. Most experienced chefs would disagree.

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Like soup? See The Best Soups In the World, by Clifford Wideal.

broth is basically a clear soup made by simmering meat and also vegetables (or just vegetables for a vegetable broth).

This, at initially glance, seems to be the same as a stock.

Difference Between Broth and Stock

It is true that the terms broth and also stock are frequently used interchangeably and also it is not always clear tright here is a well-identified difference, yet the primarily embraced wisdom is that for a stock, bones and also vegetables are simmered, quite than meat (excepting, of course, a vegetable stock).

Bones are by much the the majority of essential ingredient in a stock, and using bones provides a stock richer and also better in gelatin, which originates from cartilage and also connective tproblem, than a broth. Although it is richer, it is not necessarily even more flavorful.

That is, stocks have a more neutral savory taste than broth, making them more flexible for usage as the base of many kind of different sauces or soups.

Many stocks would be diminished and also reinforced in some method before usage. 1Gisslen, Wayne. Professional Cooking: College Version. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Many kind of chefs have a various take on what on stocks versus broths, but once a particular meat flavor is wanted, such as chicken or beef, a broth is wanted.

Or, are tright here other methods of looking at it?

Apparently so, and they have the right to be more cloudy than the cloudiest stock. Take, for circumstances, this explanation from Jacob Burton, which appears to do little bit to clarify the worry, pardon the pun:

…a broth is a stock that hasn’t been strained before serving, while a stock is strained broth supplied for a secondary purpose prefer reduction sauces, belevating, or…to make a broth. With consommé, you start through a stock, revolve it right into a broth by adding a raft, which then becomes a stock again when it’s strained, and also will certainly then magically rotate into a broth once garniburned, unless it’s left ungarnimelted, in which instance it remains a stock.You may come across the word boullion, also, and you are most likely familiar with bouillion cubes. Bouillon is really simply the French term for broth, yet many resources make a difference, although it is difficult to define specifically why. A consommé can be a broth or a stock.

Well, that removes it up! I can’t seem to speak, sorry. Regardless of just how muddy his explanation is, Burton demonstrates the making of a consommé prefer a true expert, and also his video shows up listed below. To, probably, uncloud the concern, I revolve, as soon as aobtain, to the Oxford Companion to Food, by Alan Davidson:

It might be said that broth occupies an intermediate place between stock and also soup. A broth (e.g. chicken broth) deserve to be eaten as is, whereas a stock (e.g. chicken stock) would usually be consumed only as an ingredient in somepoint more complicated. A soup, on the various other hand also, would certainly usually be less straightforward, even more ‘finished’, than a broth.

In the last sentence, he is referring to the truth that while you can eat a broth in its standard create (and also he mentions the usage of broth for ill people, etc.), when you add somepoint to it, or “fancify” it, a broth is commonly then called a soup.

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Chicken consommé with chicken liver computer mouse and also gnocchi.Image by snekse using flickr

Consommé Definition

A consommé is a broth or stock that has been clarified and also concentrated, making for a strong-flavored and perfectly clear soup that not only has actually a wonderful, focused flavor, however it is additionally beautiful to look at. Although many type of cooks hold that it is the clarification that renders a consommé, it is really the concentration that is many vital. The word consommé is a French word that indicates “perfect” or “to make perfect and finish.” It was initially stated in late 18th century cookpublications as a focused bouillon offered in sauces or poteras. Bouillon is a French way of saying broth, basically, and also potage is a word for soups or “cooked in a pot.”2Willan, Anne. The Country Cooking of France. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2007. 3Wright, Clifford A. The Best Soups in the World. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.Only later in the 19th century were consommés defined as perfectly clear, fat-cost-free broths. Escoffier noted over 140 consommés in Le Guide Culinaire.


Tright here are several methods provided to make a perfectly clarified consomme but one extremely effective means is to simmer egg whites and also broth together with ground meat, vegetables and also herbs. These are all mixed together to form a clarification raft, which is included to the broth or stock that the consomme is being made from. The proteins from the egg whites and also meat trap the smallest particles from the broth and also the resultant mixture can be strained via wire mesh strainer lined with cheesefabric. 4Peterkid, James. Glorious French Food: A Fresh Approach to the Classics. New York: J. Wiley, 2002. 5Wideal, Clifford A. The Best Soups in the World. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

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In the great video below, Jacob Burton demonstprices a chicken consomme. He starts via a really cloudy looking chicken broth and also adds pours it over a clarification raft made from chicken meat, egg whites, and a simple mirepoix. He then adds some seasoning and mixes. For better summary check out the link above.