Consommé with Saffron

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions as a first course, 16 as a tapa

Ingredient Amount
Beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes 10 oz.
Hen or chicken legs (about 5 ¾ oz. ea.) 2 ea.
Chicken legs (3 ½ to 4 oz. ea.) 3 ea.
Pork ribs (about 5 ribs) 11 oz.
Beef shank bone (about 10 ½ oz.) 1 ea.
Ham hock, split (about 7 oz.) 1 ea.
Water, preferably bottled water 2-2/3 qt.
Carrots, medium, peeled and quartered 2 ½ ea.
Parsnips, medium, peeled and quartered 1 ½ ea.
Beets, medium, peeled and quartered 1 ½ ea.
Swiss chard leaves, with stalks 2 ½ pc.
Cabbage, coarsely chopped 3 ½ cups
Saffron threads, divided use ½ tsp.
Salt, divided use 4 tsp.
Duck foie gras, partially frozen 10 ¾ oz.
White pepper sm. pinch
Clover or other vegetable sprouts 1 Tbsp.
Chives, thinly chopped 2 tsp.


  1. Place the meats in a large dutch oven and add the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, an simmer for 1 hour. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  2. Add the vegetables and ¼ teaspoon of saffron to the pot with 2 teaspoons of salt, bring back to a gentle simmer, and continue to cook, partially covered, for another 2 hours, or until the level of the liquid in the pot has reduced to about half of the original amount.
  3. Dice the foie gras into ¼-inch cubes while the broth simmers. Arrange the cubes in 1-tablespoon portions on a plate, then cover and refrigerate until thawed.
  4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh or cheedscloth-lined strainer into a 2-quart glass measuring bowl. If the broth has reduced to less than 6 cups, add enough water to bring the level up to 6 cups. If the broth measures more than 6 cups, you may further reduce it, if desired, before adjusting the seasoning. Refrigerate until the fat solidifies on the top of the broth, 2 to 3 hours. Use a spoon to skim off as much of the fat layer as possible.
  5. Return the broth to a clean soup pot or Dutch oven, taste the soup, and adjust seasoning with up to 2 teaspoons of salt and a small pinch of white pepper (or more or less of each as needed). Bring the soup back to a gentle simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the seasoning flavors have blended.
  6. Place 1 tablespoon of the diced foi gras into each of 8 heated soup bowls, then ladle 3/4 cup of the consummé into each bowl. Garnish each serving with a small pinch each of clover or vegetable sprouts, chives, and 2 to 3 threads of the remaining saffron.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: María José San Román for Source Atlantique/Syren Saffron/Columela, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.

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