A bouillon is an unclarified meat or poultry stock, or a combination of the two. It should be amber in color and clear in appearance with a range of small shaped pieces of vegetables, beef and chicken served as part of the completed dish and added at different stages in the cooking process. (The principle of staggered commodity cooking referred to on p. 70 is used in the production of this type of soup.)
In classical cookery bouillons were cooked in an earthenware container known as a marmite. In modern commercial catering the soup is transferred to individual or multi-sized marmites at the point of service.
The definition given above — based on classical cookery – suggests an unclarified stock. However, common trade practice (with very few exceptions) is to use instead a clarified consommé as the foundation.
An analysis of a number of cookery books highlights numerous contradictions regarding the ingredients of bouillon type soups.