Light Bites

Beef consommé recipe for a light lunch

Serves 8

Packed full of nutrients, a bowl of warming soup for lunch or dinner can also be a great help when it comes to watching our weight. Wonderfully light, this beef consommé recipe is adapted from a Rowley Leigh recipe – definitely only to be attempted when you have plenty of time and like the idea of a cooking challenge.

It’s a bit fiddly and laborious, but ultimately very rewarding, intense in flavour, and very light. Liz makes a large batch and then freezes it in single servings to last throughout the month.

Wellbeing Wisdom

  • Beef & egg whites are a great source of protein


  • 1kg beef suitable for boiling (such as silverside or brisket)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • A few cloves and peppercorns
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • A couple of sprigs thyme
  • A beef stock cube
  • 200g completely lean beef (such as shin)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek (top half)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • A few parsley stalks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce


  1. First make a really good stock as this forms the flavour of the broth. Place into a large pan 1kg beef suitable for boiling such as silverside or brisket, four chicken drumsticks, one onion, two carrots, two celery stalks, a few cloves and peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves and sprigs of thyme. Cover with enough cold water to cover and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer very gently for a good hour, skimming the surface now and again to remove any scum. Top up with a little more cold water if needed to keep the ingredients submerged.
  3. After an hour, take out the chicken legs (which you can use in a salad or sandwich later), add a beef stock cube and continue to simmer the beef and vegetables for a further hour.
  4. Finally, carefully strain the stock, ladle by ladle, into a sieve balanced over a large bowl and allow the liquid to cool. Save the beef for another meal or two – either sliced for salads or sandwiches or particularly delicious in a cottage pie.
  5. Once your stock is completely cool, drag a piece of kitchen roll over the surface to help remove any fat or impurities, then begin the clarification process.
  6. In a blender, blitz 200g of completely lean beef (such as shin), one carrot, the top half of a leek, two tomatoes and a few parsley stalks until very fine. Separate three eggs and whisk all three whites slightly (without a trace of yolk) in a deep saucepan then add the contents of the blender. Keep whisking as you pour in the stock, then very slowly heat until it comes to a gentle simmer, stirring once or twice to stop anything sticking to the bottom of the pan. The chopped clarification mixture should eventually come to the surface, binding any impurities in the stock to form a ‘raft’ on the top of your clear liquid. Once this has happened, add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and simmer gently for a further ten minutes.
  7. Now place your sieve again over a pan and line with a muslin cloth. Make a hole in your ‘raft’ on the top of your consommé and ladle out every drop of liquid underneath into the strainer. Gently warm this delicious, intensely-flavoured culinary classic through, check for seasoning and serve.