A crystal clear morel broth with vegetables and a poached egg
Keyword: Consomme, Morel Soup
2ozdried morel mushrooms
1carrotpeeled and chopped
1small white onionchopped
A fresh bay leaf
12cupsof good chicken stock
Whites of 6 eggs
1ozeachpeas lightly blanched, or simply use frozen peas, they will work fine
1tablespoondiced ramp leaves
2thinly sliced pickled ramps
Take the carrot, onion, celery, morels, bay leaf and water, put in a small stockpot and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer very very gently for 30 minutes, then take off the heat, strain out the solids, remove the morels and let the stock cool to room temp. Then remove the morels, slice in half, wash and clean for any grit, and set aside.
Now whisk the egg whites lightly and add to the cooled broth, put in a small stockpot and, whisking gently and slowly-continuously, bring the mixture almost to a simmer, you will start to see particles arising and forming at the top, when you see this, turn the heat down to very very low, and wait for the rest of the "raft" to rise to the top, this is removing visual impurities from the broth and clarifying it.
Wait for 10 minutes, then gently slide some of the coagulated egg white on top of the stock over with a spoon to reveal the now clear broth underneath.
Reveal more clear broth with the spoon until you have an area wide enough to accommodate a ladle to remove the clear broth. Ladle the morel consomme out of the stockpot and pass through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into another clean pot and keep warm, season with salt to taste.
To serve, place all the garnishes in individual bowls, ladle the consomme piping hot over the garnishes, serve immediately.
It's fun to pick little garnishes to float in your clarified broth. I chose to use spring ingredients as I am craving them right now, you could use whatever you want, diced cooked potatoes would be nice, as would a dice of root vegetables. Flavored and colored oils are also fun to garnish a consomme as they float on top of the broth. Morels go well with other spring ingredients so I chose to use a garnish of sliced pickled ramps, diced ramp leaves, sliced morels, julienned ham, a poached egg, and green peas. For four people, I would use the following proportions: