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need to know to make spectacular soups
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to what Campbell’s might tell you, good soup doesn’t come in a can.
Yes, yes, I too have been known to enjoy a big bowl of Progresso Hearty
Chicken with Vegetables, more often than I care to admit even, but
unless you are deathly, deathly ill and haven’t the strength even to
pick up a knife, much less dice and mince, it’s nearly always a better
idea to leave the canned stuff alone and make the soup yourself.
why homemade soups rock
They’re virtually impossible to overcook. Cook ‘em an hour; cook ‘em
three hours … it’s pretty much all good.
They can be easily made in vast quantities. And if you don’t feel like
eating soup, soup, soup for three meals a day, five days straight, just
freeze the surplus in convenient serving-size portions.
They’re great for recycling leftovers – leftover cooked chicken,
leftover cooked vegetables, leftover cooked pasta … just make sure you
rinse said leftovers of any odd sauces before tossing them into your
They’re filling, tasty and (unless you’re making a cream/cheese
They’ll make your kitchen smell yummy.
large stockpot, as big as you can possibly find
long-handled wooden spoon (for stirring/tasting)
ladle (for serving)
blender, or large food processor
five ways to instantly thicken soup
A thick soup is a meal in itself. Here are a
few basic methods for turning a thin broth into a soup with substance:
flour Add a tablespoon or two at
the beginning, when you’re sautéing your vegetables in oil, and stir
well to make a smooth paste.
cornstarch Make a cornstarch paste by mixing equal parts cornstarch
and water. Add the paste at the end of the cooking time (2-3 tablespoons
will generally be enough to thicken up a big pot of soup).
purée This only works if your soup actually has some starchy
vegetable matter in it: tossing your plain old chicken soup into the
blender isn’t going to do a whole heck of a lot to thicken it. To
thicken soup without radically altering the flavor, you can easily add a
cooked (boiled, microwaved, whatever’s easiest) potato, cooked rice or
a couple of slices of bread to your soup, before tossing it all into the
blender. If you still want some discrete vegetables in your soup, just
puree half of the mixture, then stir it into the pot to combine with the
stop: there's more!
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