While others may (or may not) love it more, I have made it no secret of my love for Giardiniera. I have also not hid my affinity for soup. It is with both loves that I began to think about how to make a giardiniera soup. There was a brainstorming period that lasted for an entire weekend, but while I was looking for something else, I came across a technique that looked interesting. This idea, Gelatin-filtered consommé, would serve as a baseline for giardiniera soup.
It was in a discussion in early November when gelatin-filtration was first brought up in the context of the corn husk tea at Next: Kyoto. When I passed the page describing XO consommé in Momofuku, it stuck. Instead of figuring whether the soup base would be a puree of giardiniera, a clear vegetable stock, or Italian beef jus, clarified giardiniera would the base and the soup. I figured, “If Chang loved the XO consommé, how different could giardiniera consommé be?” After obtaining gelatin sheets, I went to work both on Chang’s XO consommé and making my own giardiniera consommé.
While making a consommé raft using kitchen proteins is an advanced technique, to me at least, gelatin-filtration is easy by comparison – puree flavor-base, bloom gelatin, stir, freeze, thaw and strain. Time and science are the key elements. A few days after starting, I was left with nearly a pint of XO consommé and another near-pint of giardiniera consommé – both incredibly clear and, as sipped directly from the mason jar, flavored.
With clarified kimchi and xo consommé, Chang replaced the brine in an oyster shell. While I am not sure how anything can beat the sea water trapped in the shell. I thought of warming the consommé and serving it warmed with skin-on chicken. It was so good – tasting just like a spoonful of giardiniera, only light and clear, The XO consommé matches the flavors of XO sauce, to no surprise, and was served with warmed tofu.
The preferred consommé of the two was clearly the giardiniera. The clear liquid was amazingly flavorful – both cold and warmed – and could serve a number of purposes. There is a good amount of sharpness and the heat from the pureed peppers give this a very bright flavor without any of the heaviness brought to the spicy condiment by the oil. With winter on the horizon, I look forward to playing with this giardiniera consommé and seeing how best to use it.
Makes 1.5 cups
- 2 gelatin sheets
- 1.5 cups hot water
- 1 cup giardiniera, solids as much as possible
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Step one: Puree giardiniera with cider vinegar.
Step two: Bloom gelatin in hot water until dissolved in a freezer safe container. Stir in giardiniera puree.
Step three: Freeze entire mixture.
Step four: Once mixture is frozen, remove from container and strain as it thaws over 2 days through cheesecloth and sieve. A jello-y giardiniera block will remain above cheesecloth, giardiniera consomme will be below.