587 Consommé aux Nids d’Hirondelle

Birds Nest Soup

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Le Guide Culinaire

By Auguste Escoffier

Published 1903

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2 litres ( pt or 9 U.S. cups) Chicken Consommé prepared with three times the normal amount of meat.

This soup is garnished with the nests of a species of swallow which are prepared as follows:

For 2 litres of soup soak 4–6 nests in cold water for 2 hours so as to swell the mucilagenous materials of which they are composed; this will also render them transparent. When sufficiently soaked take great care to remove any pieces of feather, shell or other undesirable debris, using the point of a needle. When cleaned, blanch the nests in boiling water for 5–6 minutes, drain them then place in the boiling Consommé.

At this stage the cooking should be very slow and regular for approximately 45 minutes, this being sufficient time to effect the break up of the nests, providing they are of good quality. After this the garnish of the soup consists of nothing more than threads, the mucilagenous parts of the nests having been dissolved in the soup, so providing its characteristic viscidity.