There are four different methods of preparing cream soups, each reflecting traditional cooking methods, but there is one aspect common to them all — the finishing. At the point of service the soup is completed with cream and (optionally) butter.
Most soups described as creams may also be made as veloutés and are generally prepared in the same way, the only difference being the liaison added at the end; for velouté soup this consists of egg yolks mixed lightly with cream and knobs of butter. The only other variation encountered is when adding a béchamel to make a cream soup; this should be replaced by a basic velouté sauce when preparing a velouté soup.
Garnished cream and velouté soups are by tradition served only at dinner, although this principle now appears to be out of fashion. It is true to say, however, that the more expensive and elaborate soups are more appropriate for dinner than for lunch.
The four methods of making cream soup are as follows:
(a) Under this method the vegetables are first sweated in butter to which flour is then added to form a roux. White stock is added and the soup is cooked, puréed and then completed with cream.
(b) Under this method a purée type soup is prepared with the addition of béchamel and white stock which is then completed with cream.
(c) Under this method a second stage roux is prepared with the addition of white stock to make a velouté which is then completed with cream.
(d) Under this method the basic ingredients are cooked in a prepared velouté, then passed and finished with cream.