Purees

Purees are made in the same way as cream soups, but are somewhat thicker. They are often served under the name of "Cream Soup."

Bisques

The name bisque is usually given to a cream soup made from fish, and the fish is often diced or mashed through a coarse strainer. A familiar example of an exception in the use of the word is mock bisque soup, or tomato bisque, as it is often called.

Chowders

Chowders were probably the common ancestors of the more refined cream soups, purees, and bisques. The word chowder comes from the French chaudiere, meaning caldron. The chowder originated as a community fish stew to which each neighbor contributed something; milk, fish, potatoes, crackers, pork or some seasoning. These contributions were all cooked together in the common caldron, from which chowder derives its name, and each contributor withdrew his share of soup when it was ready.

The chowder of today is much the same as the old chowder, and consists of pieces of different vegetables or of fish and potatoes and various seasonings cooked in milk with crackers added just before serving.

Fish Stews

Fish stews are made of milk and the juice of the fish which gives flavor to the soup. They differ from the cream soups in that they need not be thickened, though they often are, and from the chowders in being less complex in composition.

Binding Thick Soups

When a vegetable, meat or fish pulp is combined with milk or stock in making soups, they separate and the solid substance sinks to the bottom of the liquid. Some flour or corn-starch cooked into the mixture will overcome this. With many of these soups the reason for using the flour or corn-starch may not necessarily be to thicken a soup which the vegetable, meat or fish pulp has already made thick enough, but to blend the liquid with the solid so that all parts of the soup will have the same consistency.

Flour or corn-starch may be mixed with enough cold liquid - milk, water, or stock - to make a creamy thickness and added carefully to the soup; or it may be combined with the soup by means of a roux (see Index). When a colored roux is desired the fat is browned before the flour is added and the mixture is cooked to a reddish brown color. When a roux is made in this way, the liquid is usually added to it gradually.

Preventing Skin On Cream Soups

A cream or milk soup has a tendency to form a skin on the top as it cools. If it is beaten just before it is served, the froth protects it against skin formation.

A spoonful of whipped cream or beaten egg-white served on top of each portion of cream soup aids in preventing the skin formation and adds to the delicacy and attractiveness of the dish.

Directions For Making A Standard Cream Soup

4 cups milk or part milk and part stock 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons fat

2 cups vegetable pulp or meat or fish pulp Salt, pepper, other seasonings

1. Make a white sauce of the liquid, flour, and fat.

2. Cook the vegetables or meat or fish until tender, drainj and mash through a sieve.

3. Combine the vegetable, meat, or fish pulp with the white sauce.

4. Season, beat with an egg-beater, and serve. A tiny portion of whipped cream or beaten egg-white may be served on top of each portion.

The amount of flour may be increased for purees and bisques.