Soup Secrets 101
My favourite soup making tips
Onions are always a good idea, sautee them in some oil with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes until they're translucent and clear.
At this stage, you could add some celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, ginger and woody herbs like rosemary or thyme.
If you like meat, pancetta, bacon or chorizo add a nice layer of saltiness and bring that flavour.
The smaller you chop your veg - the more flavour you'll develop. So if you're low on time, dice your veggies.
Ratio's - if I'm unsure about how much water to ingredients. I measure this out using my soup bowls. This tip is genius in general, especially if you're cooking for a crowd and have a habit of over catering and wasting food.
Experiment with 400mL liquid : a generous 1/2 cup veggies/ingredients.
Stock? Broth? Water? Stock and broth have extra flavour already, which can help you in serving up a quick soup that's delicious. But you can absolutely sub for water, you can add some dried stock, let your soup cook for longer, or use an umami flavour like tamari or miso paste. Keeping a powdered stock on hand is always a life saver for quick meals.
A handful of rice or lentils or split peas or chickpeas or beans or pearl barley or quinoa or buckwheat... get the picture? A handful of any of these will thicken up your soup and double as a filler. There's no reason a soup shouldn't be filling. I usually keep these in my pantry as a dried version, so I'd usually lean toward rice, lentils, split peas, quinoa as they're quicker to cook than the others.
Leafy greens? I'm talking, baby spinach, spinach, cabbage, silverbeet, kale, rocket, herbs, carrot tops etc. Thin slice these and add them to the pot right before you serve. This will preserve their bright vibrant colour and not over cook them.
Acid brings the flavour - I'm talking about lemon, lime, orange, even apple cider vinegar will do the job. A bit of acid will balance and brighten the flavours of your soup.
Toppings are where its at sourdough, cheese toasties, crispy bacon, crispy chickpeas, garlic sauteed mushrooms, crackers, coconut yoghurt, coconut cream, yoghurt, labneh, dried herbs, chilli flakes, dhukka, za'atar, and I'm just getting started.
Leftovers soup always tastes better the next day. So make extra or freeze it in single serve portions for those times you really don't want to cook.