Today’s clear soup recipe is from my college time in Austria, as it’s an essential in any local cooking in central Europe.
To make the clear broth soup from scratch is super easy + the soup is enriched with health benefiting ingredients.
You can add dumplings and noodles to enrich your dining experience.
What is the Clear Soup?
The Clear Soup, Klare Suppe in German, is also called a consommé in German.
Which is a bit miss leading as Consommé usually involves egg whites to get rid of impurities.
However, the clear soup is after all still a consommé as it is strained through a plain cotton muslin cloth to get rid of impurities and to clear it completely.
Even from the ingredients that give the soup it’s flavor!
So, a clear soup is slowly simmered for at least 90 minutes with roughly cut ingredients, including aromatic herbs and spices.
The clear soup is so common in Austria and Germany, that you will always see it being served in local inns (Gasthaus) for lunch or dinner.
Even local homes make it a point to serve this soup at least once a week.
Which is mostly Monday because it is known as the Mehlspeisen day (flour dish day).
Let’s call it meatless Monday in English.
Traditionally, clear soups can be served plainly or with something called a Suppeneinlage (addition to the soup) such as dumplings and homemade noodles or even savory pancake strips!
In the pictures you can see Grießknödel (Semolina Knödel) for example but you can also add other dumplings.
>>Please see further below the recipe for serving suggestions!<<
Clear Soup cultural importance
In our house, the clear soup made it’s appearance always on Sunday nights and it would be usually served with a Frankfurter sausage.
The clear soup is meant to give the body warmth from within on cold days and as it’s concentrated.
The soup is supposed to give your body much-needed strength after a hard working day.
When served as a plain starter, the clear soup is seen as a stomach tease.
So to say it’s preparing your hungry stomach for the main meal to come.
The clear soup is also traditionally served up after a funeral with a sausage and a Kaisersemmel roll.
The spices used in the clear soup recipe have been essentially picked in such a way that they all have a certain purpose for health.
What are the health properties and effects on health of the spices in the clear soup?
- Bay Leaf: Treats a cold well and helps you to digest
- Juniper Berry: Anti-bacterial, increases appetite and improves digestion as well
- Nutmeg: Increases immune system function, reliefs pain and detoxifies
- Black Pepper: Anti-bacterial, respiratory relief and supports your digestion
- Allspice: supports circulation, gives you pain relieve and it’s anti-inflammatory
And that is how we can see clearly again how important these spices are for a proper authentic clear soup!
A clear soup is not only served when one tries to beat a cold, no, in fact it wards off a cold!
This clear soup recipe doesn’t include onions, but other essential vegetables such as Carrots, Cauliflower and Leek.
How to make clear soup from scratch?
You will rejoice because cutting the vegetables is a quick job.
You just need to roughly cut the clean vegetables into chunks, that’s it.
The point is to let the rough veg pieces fry for a minute to release the flavors before adding the water and spices.
Once you have added all the ingredients, which is basically just an effortless 3 minutes job, you let it simmer on a medium to slow flame for 90 minutes at least.
You need to reduce the soup slowly while it gets infused with the beneficial properties and flavors of the vegetables.
It is a slow process but well worth the time!
Also it’s literally effortless from your side…
You need to make sure that you don’t cover the pot and that you don’t mix the content too much.
Once the soup is cooked and enriched with wonderful flavors get a cotton muslin/cheesecloth to strain the soup and separate all the soup ingredients with the liquid.
The aim is to have the broth separated from the vegetables and spices, so that no impurities are left and the soup is indeed clear!
Clear Soup Recipe – Vegetable consommé
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 cups Carrots
- 3.5 ounces Leek
- 7 ounces Cauliflower
- 1/2 gallon Water
- 1 handful Celery stalks roughly chopped
- 1 handful Parsley roughly chopped
- 1 large Bay Leaf
- 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 4-5 Juniper Berries
- 4 Allspice Berries or 1/2 Teaspoon powder
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- Parsley to garnish
- Rinse, peel and roughly cut your Carrot, Leek, and Cauliflower.
- Grab a tall soup pot and add the Olive Oil. Fry your Vegetables for a 2-3 minutes quickly.
- Add the Water and add in the Celery, Parsley, Bay leaf, Garlic, Nutmeg, Juniper Seeds and Allspice.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then take down the heat to a light simmer.
- Do not cover the soup and don’t mix it too often. Let it cook for about 80 minutes. (all together the soup cooks for 90 minutes!) The soup will reduce a lot and get infused and that’s what we want!
- Once finished cooking, add salt and pepper to taste, strain the soup with a muslin/cheesecloth while pressing the vegetables well into the cloth so that all the juice comes out and collect the soup in a pot underneath. Discard the cooked vegetable and spices.
- Heat up again if needed and serve hot with parsley to garnish.
- Don’t cover your pot while cooking and do not stir all too often as this would create more impurities and we want to avoid that completely.
- Make sure to strain the soup with a muslin/cheesecloth before serving it plainly or with some kind of a dumpling. (See serving suggestions below!)
- Adapted from “Küche Planung, Organisation, Praxis” http://www.trauner.at/buchdetail.aspx?artnr=03110040
Add this to your clear soup – serving suggestions
Traditional clear soup additions: 🍲
- Grießknödel – Semolina dumplings
- Schöberl with Herbs – Biscuit dumplings with herbs
- Sainehonsa Bratknödel – Beef and bread dumplings
- Semmelnödel – Classic bread dumplings
- Pressknödel – Flattened cheese dumplings
- Fritatten – savory pancake cut into strips
More clear soup addition ideas: 🍜
- Any kind of Egg noodles
- Tibetan Momo dumplings or Chinese dumplings
- Sausage as in Frankfurter or Wiener sausage
- Noodles as in ABC noodles
Dear Reader, how are you planning to use this clear soup recipe?
Please, let us know in a comment below!
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