January is National Soup Month! There's no better way to take the chill out of winter days than sitting down to a steaming bowl of soup. This is the perfect time to discover how simple it can be to make sensational homemade soups. For even the most novice cook, soup can be mastered! (Trust me, I know!) They can be made of simple ingredients or a more complex array. By simply adding a salad and some bread you have a complete, filling and satisfying meal.
Here are a few tips to get a great soup started:
- The best soups are made with a base of homemade stock and fresh ingredients. Obviously this can be a time-consuming endeavor. You can reduce your time in the kitchen by using canned or frozen broths or bouillon bases. Even so, plan on taking your time with a good soup or stew.
- Fresh ingredients are best, but some canned or frozen vegetables will work well, such as peas, green beans and corn.
- To reduce the fat content, make the soup the day before, chill and scrape off the fat that rises to the top. If you don't have time to chill the soup, use an unprinted paper towel to soak up oil from the surface.
- Savory soups and stews always taste better if made a day or two in advance and reheated just before serving.
- If your hot soup ends up slightly salty, add a whole, peeled potato to the soup and simmer for about 15 minutes to absorb salt. Remove the potato and serve.
- Be aware that herbs will have a more intense flavor if added at the end of the long cooking process.
Finally, HERE and HERE are some wonderful soup recipes to try.