Friday, October 2, 2009

It's All About Technique

"NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!' a line from one of my fave Seinfeld episodes, in which I think about every time I make soup.

On Wednesday's blog I shared the secret to making a great soup and Thursday's blog I shared my "Off the Hook Yam and Split Pea" soup. Today's blog is all about "technique."

Making heavy, thick soups is all about "layering" flavors, evaporating moisture and concentrating the flavors. Think "reduction." Boil and reduce.

When you make soup, always start with a HOT pot on HIGH heat. This means what? Ya can't be twittering, talking on the phone or on Face Book while making soup! It calls for complete and undivided attention. Toss a layer at a time of chopped veggies into the HOT dry pot & stir. Veggies have so much of their own moisture; they will cook up just fine for a few moments without liquid.

Watch carefully, when veggies are stirred & start to brown, add one ounce of your homemade stock. DON"T turn down the heat. Continue to stir, reduce moisture, brown and do the same thing again and again with each layer. Layer after layer of scrumptious flavors, adds texture and substance to any thick and heavy soup.

When all the veggies have been added and browned, turn down the heat and start adding your stock to finish up the soup. If you want one quart of soup, use 2 quarts of stock.

Here are a few suggestions when making soup:

1. Always add fresh herbs last with preferably very little or no cooking. This will maintain their fabulous flavors.

2. Always roast your tomatoes and garlic before using them in soup as this will brings out the amazing flavors.

3. Take about 1 cup of the soup out and blend or process it. This makes a really great thick puree that can be poured back into the soup and used for thickening. Who needs flour, cornstarch or arrowroot? Really!

Here are some really great seasonings to use in soups:

Horseradish, wasabi, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, cilantro, curry, cumin, cayenne, rice vinegar, apple cider, & coconut milk.

Give this technique a try when you make your next homemade soup!

Until Next Time......


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