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Double Soup


Schneier
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Is there really no thread on double soups on eGullet? Something must be done....

A double soup is a bowl of two different soups, one on each half of the bowl. Done well, it's a really pretty effect. Someone told me once that it was invented at Chez Panisse, but I have no idea if that's true or not.

Double soups work best with thick soups, preferably of the same thickness.

That's pretty much all I know about double soups. My plan is to serve one this Thanksgiving. One side will be pumpkin, and the other side something like turnip or parsnip.

Tonight I did a test run.

I found that using two ladles didn't work very well. Better was to ladle the soups into mugs, and to pour the soups into the bowl from the mugs. I also found that my dominant hand tended to pour faster.

I found that pouring the soups into the sides of the bowl into the center worked better than pouring them in opposite directions. I didn't try -- ran out of soups -- using a rubber spatula as a wall in the middle of the bowl as a poured.

Any other suggestions of things I should try? I'll probably do another test run tomorrow night.

Bruce

Edited by Schneier (log)
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I've done this a lot.  Try using 2 pitchers and pour from the sides rather than the center.

Can you explain this better. I did pour from the sides, but I poured from the sides towards the center. Is that what you mean?

I worry about using pitchers, because I worry about portion control. The idea is to put exactly the same amount of each soup in the bowl, which I think will be harder with a pitcher of soup. It's easier for me to pre-measure the soups into mugs and then pour from there.

My main problem is that my dominant hand pours the soup faster than my other hand, and I need to practice compensating for that.

Bruce

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Bruce, why don't you just use two equal but small size pitchers -- creamers or some such? Or if you don't have 2 matching creamers, just ladle the same amount into each, then pour.

The only thing to worry about is keeping the soup hot. Soup has to be hot. Too much ladling, measuring, pouring will give it/them a chance to cool down. Feh. Don't we all have to burn our tongues on the soup first thing in the meal, and then spend the rest of it not tasting properly? :raz:

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You're definitely right that soup must be hot.

I think I just need to practice. Luckily, the soup looked good even when I didn't get it even.

And fried sage leaves on top should only increase the festive look.

Bruce

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For portion control, fortunately for me, I've got a good eye for getting exactly the same amount into the bowl. The first time I tried it I was nervous about one hand pouring faster than the other. But it worked fine. Definitely the two soups have to be the same consistency -- if one is thinner than the other, it's going to pour faster and move around more than the thicker soup.

And I agree, the more ladleing, transferring to small containers you do, the quicker it will get cold.

Laurie

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Hey Bruce,

If they don't come out perfectly even you could always put a design in the soup using a knife or some such. The last picture I saw was something similar to a yin yang symbol. Just makes it harder to tell if they are precisely even.

Shannon

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We've been doing it with cold soups for ever. Typically it's a cold pea & tarragon and a roasted red pepper & chipotle. It does take practice to get the consistency right but once you do it's awesome. I use Pyrex cups and go as slow as possible from either side of the bowl, at the same time so the soups "bump" into each other in the centre of the bowl.

As for the design, I go with sour cream out of a pastry bag and do leaves, yin yang, initials, what ever. Watch your cappucino guy next time he designs on top of your coffee - mine has taught me some cool stuff.

Other ideas are quenelles, blanched and placed just under the top of the soup so they can't be seen. Into the quenelles go herbs of your choice so they appear to be standing in the soup.

I've never done it with hot soup or with one cold and one hot. I would be interested to know if that works.

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal. (The Simpsons)

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Another neat idea is to take a ring mold, plop it in the middle of the bowl, fill it with the lighter (color, not thickness) of the two soups, and then pour the darker soup around it.  Remove the ring mold, et voila!  It looks really nice.  Maybe garnish with a little creme fraiche.

This is a great idea, I think.

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If you're worried about the soup cooling off with all the handling I suggest you warm bowls before using them. If there's nothing in your oven, pop them into a warm oven for a few minutes. Otherwise, you can rinse them under hot water.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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  • 1 month later...

I forgot to report on the results....

A double soup is way easier than I expected. I put each soup in a large measuring cup, and poured them both into each bowl at the same time. I found that if one hand got ahead of the other, it was easy to correct at the last instant.

Bruce

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