Basics: How to Make Soup

Soup is one of the great comfort foods.

It’s also one of the easiest and cheapest things you can make.

Feeling sick?

from karmasherpa

from karmasherpa

Make soup.

Chilly weather outside?

from lolpics

from lolpics

Make soup.

Need to clean out your fridge?

from milehighyouthcorps

from milehighyouthcorps

Make soup.

Only have $2.00?

from 123rf

from 123rf

Make soup.

There are a few basic rules to making soup:

1. Put everything into a pot with some water or stock.

from andyinoman

from andyinoman

2. Turn the heat on and walk away. For longer than you think you should.

from sabusykids

from sabusykids

3. Keep the heat on low. Low. Keeping the heat on low simmers everything really slowly and allows the best flavors possible. It also makes it much less likely that you’ll burn the soup.

Yes, you can burn soup. And once you burn the soup, your pot is toast. It will never come clean again.

from lifehacker

from lifehacker

And your house will smell bad.

Real bad.

So keep the heat on low and don’t burn the soup.

Those are the rules.

from abccounselling

from abccounselling

Don’t break them.

There are, however, some tips to making good soup. These can be bent or changed or manipulated to customize your soup.

Tip #1: If you don’t have stock or chicken pieces, use bouillon cubes.

from yourdictionary

from yourdictionary

I love using bouillon cubes. El Guapo and I disagree on this, but trust me. Throw one in.

It will add depth of flavor and change the soup from blah to bam!

(sorry Emeril. I won’t use your word again.)

Tip #2: Add your seasonings and spices in the beginning.

from foodmatters

from foodmatters

Letting them simmer the whole time will intensify and deepen their flavor.

Tip #3: Garlic is good.

from tinyfarmblog

from tinyfarmblog

I like a little garlic in my soup, especially if it’s a clear soup.

Tip #4: Wine is good.

from chinadaily

from chinadaily

Just like bouillon, wine will add a depth of flavor you just can’t get from water.

Tip #5: If you’re adding noodles, wait until the last 10 minutes or so to add them. Otherwise they’ll disintegrate and you won’t have a noodle soup.

from southendministry

from southendministry

You’ll have a grainy-bits soup.

Blech.

Tip #6: Want thicker soup?

from nutritiousplate

from nutritiousplate

 You can:

a. use an emersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot; this will thicken the soup if you have ingredients such as root vegetables, beans, starches, etc. in the soup

b. use raw grated potato

c. throw in some rice or pasta

d. make a paste of water and corn starch and add slowly

e. add some instant potato flakes

Tip #7: If you’re going to have chicken in your soup, add it at the beginning and raw.

from dreamstime

from dreamstime

Keep the skin on and bones in. You can remove later, if desired. The skin and bones will add great flavor.

Tip #8: If you’re going to have green peas in your soup, don’t add them until the very, very last minute.

from nuttyguysonline

from nuttyguysonline

Otherwise they will be awfully mushy and gross, if their retain their shape at all.

Just as an example (and because I love soup), I thought I’d make a pot and show you how I do it.

This is what I call “Clean Out the Fridge Soup.”

Meaning I take everything in my fridge and freezer that needs to probably be used up and make some soup.

First, I chopped up a bunch of vegetables.

vegetables

vegetables

I used onions, green onions, carrots, celery (classic soup vegetables) along with some green beans.

Then I decided to add some sweetness, so I chopped up an apple.

choppin apple

chopping apple

I added the apple and a chopped up sweet potato.

more vegetables

more vegetables

Then I added some chicken thighs. Skin on, bone in.

chicken!

chicken!

Next I added about twice as much water as I wanted to have at the end of this soup.

adding water

adding water

Then I added garlic, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper.

And a jalepeno.

hotness

hotness

And some parsley.

ready to simmer

ready to simmer

Now it’s ready to simmer.

So I walked away. For longer than I wanted to (I was hungry).

I occasionally stirred.

beginning to simmer

beginning to simmer

After about 3-4 hours it had reduced to about half of the original liquid amount, and was done.

done

done

This is the point where I would have added noodles and then let it cook for another few minutes.

As it was, I opted for a more healthy, less carby soup. So I removed the chicken skin and bones, and made myself a lovely bowl.

dinner

dinner

suck it, martha.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Food & Drink, Life, Tips

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5 Comments on “Basics: How to Make Soup”

  1. Earth Momma
    January 24, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    I love soup….and your soups especially.

  2. Damaris
    June 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I like the way you prepare soup

  3. June 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    I needed to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed
    every little bit of it. I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

    • August 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      Thanks so much! That means the world to me! I’ve recently taken a sabbatical, but I’m ready to be back and blogging.

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