Updated: Nov 4
It's easy to make a great pot of soup, if you follow some of these sensible, simple steps.
1. Don't oversalt! Broths, stocks, other ingredients often come with a lot of sodium already in them. Taste and season towards the end of your cooking time.
2. Read the recipe carefully, and consider the cooking time for each ingredient. For example, beans and stew meat will take a long time. Peas and pasta not so much and should go in towards the end.
3. Build flavor as you go. Sweat and/or brown your vegetables in stages (never burn your garlic!) and try to find a step in your process to caramelize and get all the soulful taste out of your tomato paste. De-glazing with wine or broth comes later in the process once you've built up a big pot of flavor.
4. Make sure your ingredients are chopped or diced up bite-sized. Nobody wants half a cow floating around in their beef soup. 🐄
5. Simmer. Boiling for an hour never did a pot of soup any good.
6. Cook off any wine you add to your recipe by at least 50% (estimate it) before you continue. A big bowl of uncooked wine is no good. This is time for perfect soup, not happy hour.
7. Try making your broth or stock from scratch. Much more flavorful than store bought! There are plenty of recipes out there, use the google machine and look for the ones with the best comments and highest ratings.
8. Be creative with, but don't overdo your herbs. Do some research on what herb goes best with what proteins or broths, and again always read the recipe if you're unsure!
9. Toast your spices to release their true personality. In a dry pan over medium heat, constantly stir a single layer of a spice or spices till you get what you consider to be a perfect aroma and of course before you sense that they're going to burn!
10. Add an acid. Vinegar, sherry, some sort of citrus juice brightens the flavor and makes everybody smile a little wider!
Soup up your soup tonight!