We all know how comforting a big bowl of warm soup is on a wintery night. And really, who wants to leave their house when it’s cold? Not me! That’s why I love making soup from scratch. So when I found out that a client of mine didn’t know how to make her own versions of her favorite soups at home, I figured it was time to get her into the kitchen!
Making soup is really easy. It’s one of those dishes where you can do a “fridge sweep” and use everything up in your fridge (as long as you have decent ingredients!) On a side note, my client has a lot of food intolerances, so we really had to play around with the ingredients that we used in our soups. She realized within the first 20 minutes of our lesson that her intolerances really wouldn’t hinder her in enjoying amazing soup that she can easily make with only 20 minutes hands on time!
So what do you need to make healthy, tasty soup at home? Well, here are a few tricks that I shared with my class. If this list just entices you more and you decide you want to learn from a “soup master” aka me, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can set up a class! I’m always happy to teach others how to manage meals in their kitchen in easy and delicious ways!
Melissa’s Soup Guidelines
1. Always use a heavy bottomed pot which successfully distributes the heat across the entire pan so that you don’t have to worry about burning your vegetables (just don’t put it on high heat and walk away – it’s heavy bottomed not magic bottomed!) Heavy bottomed pots can be easily transferred from the stove top to the oven, no extra pieces required. And of course, they look beautiful on the table – less clean up! Some of my favorite pots are Staub, Le Creuset, and Lodge. But, there are so many other brands available at your local stores at affordable prices including Kohls, Macys, and of course my favorite, Home Goods!
2. Always have the following ingredients in your cabinet and fridge to ensure amazingly delicious soups: dry or fresh herbs (especially bay leaf), hearty vegetables, starches, greens, and a liquid such as stock,white wine, red wine, or even water!
3. Start with your meat, let it get nice and brown, then remove. Then you can start cooking the rest of your ingredients. At the end, you’ll have an amazing set of “brown flavor bites” on the bottom of your pot that’s going to be a significant flavor boost to your soup! Don’t forget this!
4. Deglaze your pot! Don’t let those brown drippings go to waste!
5. Add your noodles, if you’re using them, a few minutes before you plan to eat your soup to prevent soggy sad noodles. Another great trick is to cook the noodles in a separate pot and then add to each individual’s bowl, that way everyone’s happy! (My pet peeve is overcooked noodles – al dente all the way!)
6. Enjoy! Be sure to top your soup off with some cheese, fresh herbs, avocado, citrus juice, citrus zest, or a nice loaf of crusty bread.
So the next time you’re hunkering down this winter, look in your fridge and pantry and see what you can create! The soup possibilities are endless!
Be sure to send me some of your soup creations this winter!