Soup 101

January 11, 2013 § 5 Comments

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I’m known as the Soup Queen in my circle. I love soup, and besides the fact that I make it several times a week, I can create a delicious soup out of almost nothing. It’s the German in me, my mother made the best soups with just a few ingredients. Give me a few bones, some onions, water and salt and I’ll turn it into a steamy broth in no time. And I think anyone can. Really.

Buying soup out of a can just doesn’t make any sense to me, for health reasons and for the taste. I know you may think you don’t have the time, but you do. Really!

Canned soup doesn’t have the flavor but it does have a lot of other things, and they’re not good. Besides BPA, the toxic chemical used in the lining, you’re likely to get preservatives, lots of sodium, and “natural flavors”, another way of saying hidden additives. Even soup from the health food store has a list of things I’d rather not eat.

So make your own! If you can boil water you can make soup. It just involves a few basic steps and ingredients which I’m sure you have in your kitchen. One ingredient I think is important for a flavorful soup is your stock. Spend just a little time making this and you’ll have it ready when you need it. But if for some reason you find yourself without any, you can always use plain old water. It’ll still be better than soup out of a can. Really it will.

Step.1

Heat a small amount of olive oil or butter in a good sized stockpot. Add chopped onions and and some garlic. Saute until soft.

Step 2.

Go to the fridge and see what vegetables you have in there. Carrots, celery, potatoes, all of them or just one kind if you wish. Keep in mind some cook faster than others. Saute for a few minutes more.

Step 3.

Now add some liquid to cover. The best would be broth of some kind, chicken, vegetable, or beef tastes best, but water will do.

Step 4.

Check the pantry to see what kind of grains you have. Split peas, lentils, barley, rice. They all need about the same cooking time so grab a handful and toss them in. Add seasonings, salt, pepper, some thyme, oregano. A bay leaf is good. Whatever suits your fancy. Here’s where you can get creative. Add a dried chili pepper, a small piece of Parmesan rind.

Step 5.

Bring to slow boil, then turn down and simmer about 45 minutes to an hour if you have grains, a little less if you don’t. Check periodically to make sure the liquid hasn’t simmered away too much.

Step 6.

I always like to see what leftovers I have that I can add once the soup is done. A piece of chicken, or sweet potato, some leftover broccoli or cauliflower. Cut up and add to soup just to warm it up. Taste for seasoning. You could at this point puree some of it and add it back into the soup to thicken if you like.

Step 7.

And last but not least, add some toppings like grated Parmesan, or a spoonful of sour cream to your bowl, or some fresh herbs, like parsley or basil.

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Now isn’t that simple? If you spend a little time and make this I know you’ll never eat soup from a can again. Really!

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§ 5 Responses to Soup 101

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