Don't know your bisque from your chowder, here's a
Tips to make your soups successful
Soup is the
original restaurant meal. Several centuries ago, the first French
restaurateur served soup at his establishment, causing a stir.
Soup had long been the domain of innkeepers and to serve it outside
an inn was unheard of. Thus was born the first restaurant
defined as such because it served soup but did not lodge guests.
has endured, but now it's more often the strong suit of the home
cook rather than the restaurant chef. Making soup is simple, therapeutic
and creative. There are no strict techniques to learn and it can
be made with anything from the finest ingredients to the humblest
some basic procedures that make good soup a cinch. We'll teach
you those, plus in a series of cooking classes, we'll explain
how to transform simple soups into elegant dishes.
Goes in the Pot
such as dried and fresh herbs, spices, garlic and shallots, to
add depth of flavor to compliment the main ingredients.
and trimmings, called mirepoix,
to provide a flavor base to highlight the main ingredients. Try
onions, leeks, celery or carrots.
small amount of fat to sweat the mirepoix and seasonings in. Look for monounsaturated
oils such as grapeseed, olive and canola.
liquid, usually stock or water, to slowly simmer the ingredients
and meld the flavors.
main ingredients, which will become the primary flavor
of the soup.
ingredients are added more as a thickener than for flavor.
for visual appeal, texture, taste and substance to the finished
How to Stir It Up
cook the mirepoix and seasonings in the fat over low
heat to draw out their flavors.
- Add the
liquid and simmer for twenty minutes or more.
- Add the
main ingredients (and thickener) and cook until the flavors
are blended and the main ingredients are tender.
all the ingredients or only half the ingredients in a blender
or food processor (optional).
fresh herbs, especially parsley
nuts and seeds
diced ham, poultry or smoked fish
yogurt or sour cream
or flavored oils
Curried Tomato Soup with Riso
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup with Winter Vegetables
Butternut Squash Soup with Caramelized Onions and Apples
Kale and Potato Soup
Onion Soup with Cheese Croutons
Salting the soup at the beginning draws out the
flavors and often allows you to use less salt. There's
one exception NEVER salt a soup made with
dried legumes until it is finished or the beans
won't get tender.
Avoid using vegetables like broccoli, cabbage or
Brussels sprouts as a base. They impart an "off"
flavor when cooked for long periods of time.
If you're using store-bought stock or broth, choose
Use more liquid when cooking starchy vegetables,
such as winter squash, potatoes and legumes. Use
less with vegetables that have a high water content
like leafy greens.
Reach for grains, potatoes and rice to add nutrients
and thicken the soup.
Use 5 parts of the main ingredients and a total
of 1 part mirepoix.
Use fewer carrots and orange colored vegetables
when making soups that will be predominantly green