Piping a cup of warm soup can be very comforting on a cold winter day. Soup is a wholesome food filled with taste and health. It can act as a starter or a side dish. Soup can also become a satisfying one-pot meal. Homemade soups are really fun to prepare if you master some of the basic soup-making tips. With simple vegetables, meats and herbs, you can prepare different types of delicious soups and enjoy it with your family. To prepare a perfect soup at home, read the six tips given below.
1. Start with a perfect stock
Soups are usually made of broth, milk or wine. No matter what your soup contains, to make a delicious soup it is very essential to start with a tasty stock. Stock is a liquid that is obtained from boiled meat or vegetables. Making a perfect stock at home is an art that you have to learn. Alternatively, you can also buy the stock from the market. You can either buy a freshly prepared frozen broth from the butcher or you can buy the broth that you get in the boxes.
If you are adding wine to your soup, take care to boil it and then cook it for a minimum of 10 minutes. For a soup in which milk or cream is being added, use only dairy products that are fresh.
2. Aromatics for your soup
Aromatics are very essential to give a good flavor to your soup. Many vegetables and meat can act as aromatics. The secret of making a good soup is to extract the maximum flavor out of these aromatics. Some common aromatics are onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery and garlic. In order to add a rich flavor to your soup, chop the aromatics of your choice and cook them with a little oil over low or medium flame. This will help the aromatics to become soft. Take care to avoid browning of the aromatics. Cooking for 5 minutes is enough for the aromatics to break down their cellulose and release their flavor.
3. Use correct kitchen tools
To make a delicious soup, you need to have the right tools in your kitchen. This will help your preparation to be fast and easy. Some important tools that you must have are a large pot, a blender, soup ladle, cutting board, sharp knives, skimmer, cups, spoons and saucepans.
4. Use salt to enhance the taste
Addition of proper amount of salt is very essential for giving your soup a good taste. A right amount of salt and seasoning can enhance the flavor of the soup many folds. Salt also helps to extract the moisture from the aromatics. This moisture brings the taste along with it. In short, salt helps in extracting the flavor of the aromatics. Salt also helps to somewhat cover the bitterness of the herbs and gives a pleasant taste to the soup.
If you are afraid of adding excess salt, try adding salt in layers. First, add it to the aromatics and then to the stock. Finally, when the soup is prepared, taste it and add salt if it is still required.
5. Add some freshness to the soup
Before serving the soup, it is very essential to add something fresh and uncooked. This will not only improve the flavor but also make your soup look more interesting. You can add anything that you feel will act as a taste enhancer. Try adding some fresh herbs, cream, butter, yogurt or some citrus juice.
6. Proper garnishing
Good garnishing makes your soup look delicious. Remember that your garnishing should be edible and should improve the taste of the soup. Chopped parsley or black pepper are very good for garnishing. However, you should try other garnishes that complement the taste of the soup. If your soup is smooth add something crunchy like crackers, if the soup is chunky add something smooth like sour cream, on lentil soups add herbs and on sweet soups add something salty. You can also use garnishes like fried vegetables, mini cheese scones and chopped basil.