Preparing Cream Soups - Roux All About It

Preparing Cream Soups - Roux All About It

Redefining Cream Soups

The term cream soup once only applied to those soups that were made from a roux base combined with milk to make b�chamel, or combined with stock to make veloute. Today the term has been broadened to include soups that incorporate cream, but do not necessarily begin with a roux. To further expand on the modern definition, many cream soups incorporate sour cream, cream fraiche, or yogurt.

How to Make a Roux

Roux is made by combining some type of fat (typically butter) with flour in equal parts by weight. The fat is warmed over medium heat and then the flour is added to it all at once. The roux is then cooked while being stirred constantly for about 5-8 minutes. The consistency of a proper roux should resemble very wet sand. Depending on how the roux is being used, it is sometimes cooked for an additional amount of time until it is blonde or even brown in color. For the purpose of cream soups, however, a white roux is almost always used.

The Scoop on Bechamel

Bechamel has many different applications and derivatives in classical cooking. It is made by slowly whisking warm milk into roux until no lumps remain and then simmering to ensure that the taste of raw flour is totally cooked out. The top of the bechamel is skimmed as needed to remove any impurities that rise to the surface as it cooks. It is crucial to keep an eye on bechamel and stir often to prevent it from scorching. After the proper cooking time, the bechamel is seasoned with salt and white pepper (black pepper would leave noticeable flecks in the white sauce) and strained through cheesecloth. Depending on its use, the bechamel can then be flavored with any number of herbs, spices, and other flavorings. A correct bechamel should be silky with no graininess and should have a nice sheen.

About Classic Veloutes

Veloute is basically the same as bechamel, however white stock is used in the place of milk. The stock is generally made from chicken, veal, or fish depending on how the veloute will be used. When used as a soup base, veloutes are classically finished with cream and sometimes egg yolks.

About the Author

After receiving degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Culinary Institute of America, Andrea Rappaport moved into a full-time career in the restaurant business. For over 12 years, she worked in various culinary jobs, including as a cook for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and ultimately as the executive chef and partner of the highly revered San Francisco restaurant Zinzino. For the past seven years, Andrea has worked as the private chef for one family in the San Francisco area, and continues to expand her culinary portfolio by catering, teaching, and consulting.

Featured Culinary Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
            • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
            • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
            • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
            • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses