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Soup and Stew Cooking Tips

How to reduce the fat in your soup and other tips

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Soup or Stew?

© 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Soup Tips and Hints

• 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.

• A hot soup will help recondition the palate between meal courses or after consumption of alcholic beverages.

• Ideally, cold soups should be served in chilled dishes.

• If the soup is not intended as the main course, you can count on 1 quart to serve 6. As a main dish, plan on 2 servings per quart.

• Since liquids boil at a lower temperature at high altitudes, you may need to extend recipe cooking times at altitudes above 2500 feet.

• 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.

• Check seasonings of cold soups just before serving as chilled foods tend to dull the taste buds and will need more seasoning than hot soups.

• 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. (Save the potato for the cook's treat!)

• Be aware that herbs will have a more intense flavor if added at the end of the long cooking process.

Wine is a great flavor addition to soups and stews. When using wine or alchohol in soup, use less salt as the wine tends to intensify saltiness. Wine should be added at a ratio of no more than 1/4 cup of wine to 1 quart of soup.

Beer is also a good addition to soups and stews. A good rule of thumb is 1 cup of beer to 3 cups of soup.

More about Soups and Stews:

Soup and Stew Cooking Tips
Soup Thickeners
Soup Glossary Definitions and Recipes
Soup and Stew Recipes
Soup / Stew Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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