Consommé with Saffron (Metric)

Customary version of recipe

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

Ingredient Amount
Beef chuck, cut into 5 cm. cubes 285 g
Hen or chicken legs (about 160 g) 2 ea.
Chicken legs (100 to 115 g) 3 ea.
Pork ribs (about 5 ribs) 310 g
Beef shank bone (about 300 g) 1 ea.
Ham hock, split (about 200 g) 1 ea.
Water, preferably bottled water 2.66 liters
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 875 ml.
Saffron threads, divided use 2 ml.
Salt, divided use 20 ml.
Duck foie gras, partially frozen 310 g
White pepper sm. pinch
Clover or other vegetable sprouts 15 ml.
Chives, thinly chopped 10 ml.


  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 1 ml. of saffron to the pot with 10 ml. 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 5 mm. cubes while the broth simmers. Arrange the cubes in 15 ml. 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-liter glass measuring bowl. If the broth has reduced to less than 1.5 liters, add enough water to bring the level up to 1.5 liters. If the broth measures more than 1.5 liters, 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 10 ml. 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 15 ml. tablespoon of the diced foi gras into each of 8 heated soup bowls, then ladle 175 ml. 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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