Tips 4making Homemade Soups!
Nothing beats the winter blues like a hearty, warming bowl of homemade soup that nourishes, not only the soul but also our body! In my home, it also helps me use up any valued veggies I have lurking in my fridge at the beginning of every week . . . ensuring they end up in my tummy and not the rubbish bin!
Soups are really easy2make! To make sure you’ll have perfect results, here are a couple of things to keep in mind to get you started:
A good base ensures every soup starts well. So, start by chopping an onion and a few basic veggies such as carrots, celery and leek to give your soup a rounded flavor.
Sweat veggies in good quality olive oil, butter (or ½ & ½). This method of slowly cooking the veggies in small amount of fat (over low heat) softens and draws out the veggies’ natural juices, thus deepening their flavor.
Use spices to take your soup to another level. Add a pinch to a teaspoon of your favorite spices to the veggies (while sweating) to give the soup more depth of flavor. Some of my favorite are cumin, fresh garlic and ginger, ground coriander and sweet smoked paprika. Don’t overdo it though . . . as you can always add more, to taste, before serving the soup.
Using good stock is essential and another very important element when making soups. Homemade stocks are always great but if you don’t have time to make them ( and store in freezer as I do), make sure to buy good quality stocks from your local specialty store or supermarket.
If you like a smooth textured (velouté) or a really hearty soup then you will, most likely, need some sort of thickener. I often add a peeled, chopped potato to the veggies at the beginning or some cooked beans, split peas or lentils (from my stock in freezer) towards the end of the cooking time which normally does the trick and gives the soup extra nutritional value.
If you want a particular ingredient to shine such as pumpkin when making pumpkin soups, then make sure to big up its quantity like in the Pumpkin Carrot Soup recipe I placed on blog in November 2016.
Using a blender to make a smooth velouté or to thicken veggie soups works well. However, when making meat, chicken or fish soups, I normally prefer not to use a blender and serve the meat or fish with vegetables in the broth. For an example, please see my Hearty Lamb & Veggie Soup recipe.
Last but not least, use your fantasy and find ways of sprucing up your favorite soups with simple and easy2find garnishes like a handful of freshly chopped herbs that will always add a bit of color and give any soup a great finish! Some of my other favorites include a dollop of Greek yogurt, croutons, finely sliced spring onions or chives, toasted seeds or nuts, lemon or lime wedges/slices or zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or cream in combination with other toppings such as chives, scallions . . . or any other of your choice!
I hope these tips have been useful and will prompt you into making lots of heartwarming, extra healthy and tasty soups that will help boost your immunity and general well-being . . . during the cold and humid winter period!
New recipe on blog: