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Nov222012

Warming Winter Soups from Scratch

Nowadays, with handy kitchen gadgets such as the Russell Hobbs food processors making winter warming soups is even easier. The colder months provide plenty of motivation for learning how to create cosy, flavourful soups.  With only a small selection of food items in your cupboard, along with some basic herbs and spices, you can be ready to make soups on the fly whenever you have a craving.

When most people think of creating their own soup, they normally search for ingredient based recipes, for example “chicken soup” or “lentil soup”. However, the nature of soup lends itself to such a large variety of ingredients that you can usually use whatever you have left lying around, without the need to rely on a strict recipe.  Simply follow the rules below and you’ll be on your way to discovering your own delicious blend of soups.

What Ingredients Should I Use?

Fat
While probably not your first thought, most, if not all soups start off with some kind of healthy fat. This is used in the initial cooking process to help sauté the first ingredients that add to the soups flavours. You can use anything you normally cook with, though the normal recommended fats are butter if you’re making a creamy soup and olive oil if you were making something in the usual Italian style, such as tomato soup.

Base Ingredients
The base is the concentrated flavour that will be the “base” of your soup. You pretty much use whatever you have in the cupboards for this – meat stock, cream, milk or tomato purée, to name a few.

Meat
Don’t worry if you’re not making a meaty soup, simply ignore this ingredient and move onto the next one. If you want to add meat you can add whatever you want to use. It’s advised to match the meat to the base so that you’re guaranteed a good result – you probably wouldn’t use something like beef stock with fish in your soup.

Vegetables
The sky is the limit here, though onion is standard across most soups as it is so flavourful. Carrots, celery, potatoes, beans, spinach, kale, corn are just a few examples of what you could add in. This is the perfect place to use up left over vegetables.

Spices
The basic spices you should use at the very least are salt and pepper, any other spices are entirely optional and up to you.  Ensure you taste the soup regularly to keep an eye on the strength of the flavours. Examples include chili powder, cumin, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage and parsley.

The Basic Soup Making Method

1.)    Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add in your fat of choice

2.)    Gently fry your aromatic vegetables fist

3.)    Cook any meat you intend to use in a separate pan

4.)    Add your chosen base at this point, unless you’re using milk or cream

5.)    Add in any other veggies, meat and seasoning. Remember to taste as you go!

6.)    Simmer for an hour or more and taste to see if it needs anymore seasoning.

7.)    Add in cream and milk if you used it as your base and allow it to heat through the soup.

8.)    Use your Russell Hobbs food processor to blend the soup into a smother consistency.

Now you know the simple techniques behind creating a soup, you’re free to experiment and create your own signature dish.

Written by Russell HobbsPosted in Cooking & Baking
November 22nd, 2012 at 17:11Tagged with , , , ,

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