Roux, which is pronounced “roo” with the x being silent, is a French word for describing a thickener used to make soups and sauces velvety smooth and rich. Roux has been used in French cuisine for more than three centuries and this flour based paste can be made from several types of oils and fats such as vegetable oil.
Olive oil, clarified butter, and animal fats like bacon grease or lard are also used for making roux, which can be cooked in a few different ways for the purpose of achieving different flavors. There are actually four varieties of roux used in soups and sauces that are distinguishable by their color; white, blond or tan, brown, and dark brown.
As a general rule, the darker the roux the more prominent the flavor, however, the opposite is true when it comes to using roux as a thickening agent rather than merely for its taste as white roux packs the most thickening power. White roux is cooked for the least amount of time and it is primarily used to make white sauces and thick chowders.
Use golden blond or tan roux, which is the most common kind used, for thickening sauces, soups, and stews as well as for adding a slight nutty flavor to the dish. Blond roux is great for tomato based soups, chili, and some types of gravy.
The third type of roux, brown roux is cooked a bit longer, for about 30 to 35 minutes, and it does not have the same amount of thickening power as the first two types. This variety would be ideal for creamy vegetable chowders or shrimp stews.
The darkest of all types of roux are cooked for about 45 minutes and are the color of milk chocolate. The purpose of dark brown roux is mostly for adding flavor with a bit of thickening agent. Thin but rich tasting gravies for beef dishes are made from this variety of roux.
Naturally, you will not need to use a roux every time you want to enjoy a thicker soup as you can always use milk and a variety of cheeses to create an equally filling dish.
Spicy Avocado Soup Recipe
What You Need
- 4 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds, and stems removed, minced
- 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
How to Make It
After removing the stems and seeds from the jalapenos, mince them finely. For a lot of added heat, do not remove the seeds before mincing.
After peeling and removing the pits from the avocados, smash them until just smooth leaving a few chunks in place.
Combine the minced jalapenos and the smashed avocados together along with the salt and pepper to taste.
In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Allow to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes after boiling.
While the broth is heating, spoon the jalapenos and avocados into 6 soup bowls. Pour the hot soup onto each mound of the spicy mixture.
Garnish each bowl with equal portions of finely chopped walnuts and minced cilantro and serve while the soup is hot.