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How To Make the Best Soup

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Find out how to improve your soups and stews with these helpful tips and suggestions.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Make soup 1 to 2 days in advance to let flavors blend.
  2. Reserve the vegetable cooking water and use in place of plain water to improve soup flavor.
  3. Shin, marrow, neck and oxtail bones are best for stock flavoring.
  4. Veal knuckles are best for making jellied stocks.
  5. If soup tastes thin or weak, add bouillon cubes or powder as a strengthener.
  6. Cool soup uncovered as quickly as possible by placing pot in sink of ice water.
  7. Cold soups dull the tastebuds and usually need more seasonings than hot soup. Taste and adjust before serving.
  8. If using beer or wine in the soup, reduce salt slightly.
  9. Wine added to soups should be done shortly before serving and do not let it boil.
  10. Too much wine will make soup bitter. 1/4 to 1/3 cup per quart is plenty.
  11. When reducing or boiling down a soup stock, do not add salt until the end.
  12. If soup is too salty, add half a peeled raw potato and simmer about 15 minutes to absorb excess salt and then remove potato.
  13. 1 teaspoon of sugar or light brown sugar will mellow the acidity of tomato soup.
  14. Vegetable cream soups can be thickened by pureeing some of the vegetables with a bit of the liquid.
  15. Add herbs at the end to preserve the most flavor.

Tips:

  1. As a general rule, 1 quart soup equals 6 first-course servings or 3 to 4 main course servings.
  2. Use a soup tureen when serving soup as a main course to lend elegance to the table and keep soup hot for seconds.
  3. Match a light-flavored soup to a rich or spicy main dish and vice versa.

What You Need

  • soup or stew pot
  • dutch oven
  • meat bones for stock
  • vegetables
  • herbs
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