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How to Make Broth-Based Clear Soup

Lesson Goals

Broth-based clear soups are highly-flavorful, clear liquids that have been made by simmering meat, fish and/or vegetables in a liquid.

Present in every culture, classic examples of these extremely satisfying and homey soups are Vietnamese pha (commonly called PHO), matzo ball, Italian brodo, and chicken noodle. Even though these soups contain added garniture, you can always see through the clear liquid within these soups.

In this lesson, you will learn how to make broth-based clear soups from scratch. You will learn how to prepare the main ingredient and how to infuse the water with aromatics to give the soup a full-bodied flavor. Once the broth is made, it can be served as is, or it can be used as the base to build a variety of delicious soups using an array of ingredients to make them more substantial. Finally, we will teach you how to serve and also various ways to garnish these soups.

Whether kept simple or turned into a whole meal, broth-based clear soups represent the true essence of soup making.

At the end of this cooking school lesson, you will be able to:

  • define what a broth-based clear soup is and understand its characteristics
  • explain the process of making a broth-based clear soup from scratch
  • make a broth-based clear soup from scratch
  • understand the difference between a basic broth and a soup broth
  • understand the reason for blanching meat and/or bones and how to do it
  • understand how to add garniture to a broth-based clear soup in order to maintain its clarity