Homemade Soup Tips
These soup tips show how easy it really is to make healthy, homemade soups. I used to think there must be some huge mystery to homemade soup – but once you start experimenting you’ll see how simple it is to throw a few ingredients together and end up half an hour later with a great-tasting meal.
Homemade soup tips
Put your onions/garlic/celery in the pan first with some water to start cooking while you prepare the soup vegetable.
Never overcook your main soup vegetables – either simmer or steam the vegetables until just tender. If simmering, use as little water as possible and use this cooking-water as your “stock”. Add it gradually to your vegetables during blending until you get the desired consistency.
Remember, if you’re cooking with dried herbs, then add these at the beginning of cooking. If you’re cooking with fresh herbs, add these just before the end of the cooking time.
Blend the vegetables then return to the cooking pan to add more cooking-water (and milk/soy milk or cream if you’re using it.
Check the seasoning as you heat the soup up – it’s often difficult to accurately gauge the amount of seasoning to add, especially when you’re not used to making soups. Add salt gradually – I usually start with half a teaspoon first then add an extra quarter teaspoonful at a time until it tastes just right.
For variety, try adding a few drops of Tabasco, some chilli flakes or even blend a fresh raw chilli in with your soup. These spice up tomato or red pepper soups perfectly.
There’s no need to add too much cream. Choose a full-fat cream rather than a light or reduced fat cream and you will only need around 1 tablespoonful to get a great creamy texture that will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Remember, you can add regular cream during heating and it won’t curdle. But sour cream, yoghurt and crème fraiche will curdle on heating, so add a dollop of these to your soup once you’ve poured it into the mug or bowl. Enjoy the fresh, contrasting taste of these against the deep, smoother taste of the soup.
Adding a few drops of lemon juice at the end of cooking is another great way to bring out the flavor of vegetable soups.
Some vegetables, such as beetroot, watercress and some dark-leafed greens, have a very intense flavor. Whilst regular soup recipes often use potatoes to reduce this intensity, try including cauliflower in the recipe instead to keep the carbohydrate content down
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