Crisper mornings and cooler evenings will have you looking forward to a comforting bowl of hot homemade soup. Whether you’re used to range cooking in a farmhouse kitchen or have a practical family kitchen to feed the 5,000, here’s a very simple, healthy NHS endorsed Hearty Vegetable Soup recipe that would make a flavoursome weekday meal for all the family. Why not try it for #MeatFreeMondays and see.
Whether you’re new to soup making or a seasoned souper, we’ve put together some useful tips and tricks to make sure your homemade soups are the most delicious dishes around.
- Similar to curries, a homemade soup always tastes better on the second day. Try to make your soup a day ahead of time so that the seasoning will have had sufficient time to improve the flavour.
- Always cook soup with the lid on to keep enable all the flavours to become better absorbed. Unless, that is, your soup has turned out to thin and you wish to thicken it and intensify the flavour – in which case leave the lid off to reduce the cooking liquid.
- Before you add stock or water, cook the vegetables first by sweating them for 15-30 minutes on a low heat in a tightly covered pan with a little butter. You may add a few tablespoons of wine or sherry to improve the flavour.
- To add flavour to your soup, try adding a few cloves to vegetable soup, a bay leaf in tomato soup, curry paste in carrot or parsnip soup, or dill seed (in a muslin bag) in potato soup.
- Forget cornflour or arrowroot – oatmeal is an excellent soup thickener. It will add richness and flavour to any soup. Rice can also be used to thicken mushroom soup.
- It’s always best to add salt and pepper at the end of the cooking process, so you don’t overdo things. If you use wine in soup, this may also increase the saltiness, so be extra careful.
- If your soup is too salty, here’s an old chef’s trick that really works: Thinly slice a medium sized potato and add it to the simmering soup. The potato will absorb the salt; take it out and discard once cooked.
- To remove excess fat, put a few ice cubes into your soup pan, stir them around and watch them attract the fat globules – the simply remove.
- When it’s time to serve up, why not perk up a vegetable soup with a teaspoon of pesto or some crumbled cheese in each bowl?
- For convenience, make a large quantity of soup and freeze the leftovers in Ziploc bags that can be easily stacked in the freezer to save space.