Keep it Simple Sunday - Soup Making Basics
January 26, 2014
Posted By: Shaunescy
Hi there! On Sundays I usually make a roast, bake bread or whip up a pot of soup. Soup is a wonderful thing, in my opinion. It fills the kitchen with tasty aromas and since it is cold and flu season, you can't really beat comfort of a nice, steamy cup of soup.
Making soup is really easy. The trick of being a good soup maker is the order that you put the ingredients in. You want to maximize the flavors and this is the key.
I pretty much always start off the same way, with a variation of Julia Child's French cooking inspired mirepoix.
“The mirepoix is one of fine cooking’s great inspirations, an all-purpose flavor enhancer made of finely diced and sautéed carrots and onions, and often celery and ham.”
You can use butter, but I prefer to use olive oil. And because I am having a love affair with Olivelle's infused oils at the moment, I poured a mixture of Carmelized Garlic EEVO and Sicilian Lemon EEVO into the bottom of the pot. About 3 Tablespoons. Turn it on low and let the oil heat up.
Chop up some onions, garlic and carrots. I am making a really chunky soup. So I opted to cube my veggies instead of finely chop them. Onions and garlic first and then chop the carrots and plop them on top.
While these are cooking, wash and cube your potatoes. You will toss those in when the onions start to get translucent or look "glassy." If you have other veggies on hand that you want to add in, go for it! The only thing you need to consider (beyond taste, of course) is how quickly the other veggies will cook down. Celery root should go in the pot earlier, cabbage as one of the latter additions.
Spices are next. I used a bit of salt, pepper and Italian spices but you could really use anything that is appealing to you. What do you have in your cupboard? Curry powder is wonderful in veggie soups. Bay Leaf is great if you are a making a savory ham or beef stew. Experiment a little with what you have on hand.
Cover with water or stock. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer. Now go relax. The soup is essentially ready when the carrots and potatoes are tender and toothsome.
At this point, you can just stop making and futzing but I want to tell you a couple more things. Superbowl Sunday is coming up and if you are hosting or going to a potluck, you may want to bring a pot of soup!
Let's say, you've made your soup and it's just a little bit boring. The taste isn't popping. Do you have a jar of dill pickles in the fridge? Pour a couple of tablespoons of the brine into the pot. Taste it again. This is a quick fix and usually works well in soups that have a clear broth as a base.
Or, you like your soup but, you know that a creamy base would really make it the hit of the party. All you have to do is shred some cheese and pour in some milk or cream. Be sure that you do not boil it though because the fats in the dairy products will separate if you do.
Do you have any other tips or tricks?
All my best, BunnyFufu ~ The Housewife