For hassle-free healthy soups, you will need to be prepared with a properly stocked kitchen. This means you will need to have some handy ingredients that will make soup on a whim.
It will save you some precious time on those busy nights when you don’t want to go looking for a specific ingredient halfway through a recipe.
In these ingredients, we are also going to talk about pots which will also help to upgrade your soup-making technique.
Remember that cooking soup is much more efficient with the right equipment. Here, we are talking about a stockpot which is one of those kitchen utensils that you can’t go without when making soup. A stockpot is typically larger than the usual cooking pot. Since soup is mostly broth or water, you will want a stockpot that can hold as much as 10quart when making soup for a large family.
A heavy saucepan can also do the job provided it has a construction of iron or enamel which allows slow cooking.
When you want to come home to the aroma of ready soup, a crock pot is an ideal choice since it allows slow cooking. On the other hand, if you don’t want to wait all day, a soup maker will also give you flavourful soup in just a couple of minutes.
When you need to boil stuff like beans and lentils, we advocate going for a pressure cooker.
This is the stock or broth that gives your soup a particular flavor. Most of us go for the shop-bought stock which may carry lots of added salt and preservatives. Making your stock from scratch is far more satisfying as it will have customized flavour and you will know the exact ingredients in the stock.
The most common bases are from chicken, beef, or fish stock. Other people prefer broth which comes from boiled meat instead of bones. After you choose your stock, next, you’ll need to pick the vegetables and meat.
- Protein dense vegetables
These include green beans, green peas, mushroom, broccoli, lentils, beans, and tofu. They are great if you want an entirely vegetarian soup. These ingredients will provide the proteins needed for any diet so that your soup will be more filling.
- Sweet and Bitter Vegetables
A mixture of the two types of vegetables is essential for excellent health. They also add color to your soup so that it won’t be too plain. These vegetables include collards, spinach, kale, dandelion, chard, green peppers, and turnip. These greens have a strong flavour, but they come with the benefits of being nutrient heavy. They pack vitamins, folate, and fibre which makes your soup filling so that it can stay longer in your stomach.
- Pungent Vegetables
These are the spicy type which have an enormous impact on the flavour. They include; onions, garlic, celery, ginger, shallot, and leek.
- Long-cooking Vegetables
These are sweet veggies like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnip, parsnip, and winter squash. These vegetables can also be combined with pears and sweet apples and tart for even more colour.
- Aromatic Herbs
Excellent seasoning is what will draw your kids to the kitchen. Not many people enjoy the taste of butternut squash combined with sweet potatoes and spinach. It is not that tasty for picky eaters, but if you throw in some herbs, they accentuate the flavours to make the soup a real delicacy.
The essential herbs are parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, sage, cumin, rosemary, and tarragon.
Creams soups, for example, will benefit from thyme or parsley while beef soups taste well with thyme or rosemary. Chicken soups go well with thyme, parsley, celery seed, sage, and marjoram. If you want to prepare a tomato-based soup, you will like it more with oregano, fennel, or basil.
For chilli recipes, you will want to have some chilli powder and cumin
As usual, you will still require to season with some salt. You can go with the usual sea salt, or opt for soy sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Miso.
Most people like to use meat in their soup as it is denser and filling. It also makes the soup more flavourful. You will want your meat sauce to match your stock. If you are making chicken soup, ensure that you use chicken stock and so on for meat and fish.
The quality of your oil will dictate the overall taste of your soup. That’s why we recommend high-quality oil like extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, roasted walnut, or toasted sesame. These oils contain good fats which lower the risk of heart disease. They are also packed with powerful antioxidants so your soup will be not only tasty, but also healthy.
Toppings and Garnishes
These are the last part of preparing your soup. They are indeed essential as they turn any plain soup into a masterpiece. They also make your soup more appealing so that you can get everyone indulging. Remember that we start eating with our eyes.
- Oil-infused herbs
Mushroom, sage, basil, parsley, cilantro, chipotle, and Tuscan garlic are some of those herbs that improve the taste and beauty of your soup when flash fried with oil.
Sour cream is the most common and the easiest to make. You can also use mayonnaise, wasabi, or yoghurt.
- Condiment Toppings
Here we are talking about such toppings as fried sage, minced fresh parsley, toasted walnuts, shredded parmesan cheese, salsa, tortilla chips, green onions, sesame seeds, etc.
If you have most of these ingredients, you can start making soup right away.
Here are two of our most straightforward recipes using some of the ingredients on this list.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
This is the ultimate comfort food on a cold winter day or when you are under the weather. This soup makes a whole lot of difference between the shop-bought soup and this homemade kitchen soup. It is even healthier since it has more meat than canned soup.
Our recipe will yield six servings of warm, high-nutrient soup.
You will need:
full chicken, chopped
1 head broccoli
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup carrots, diced
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ tsp. pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ tsp thyme
½ cup light cream
6 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
- Use a stockpot to heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the chicken
- Sauté the chicken for 3 minutes
- Add the onions and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes until the onions and garlic become translucent
- Add the green peppers and celery and continue stirring for around 3 minutes.
- Next, add the chicken broth, thyme, pepper, bouillon cubes; stir, and bring to a boil
- Add the potatoes and carrots
- Continue cooking for another 20 minutes
- When the potatoes are well-cooked, reduce the heat and add the broccoli
- Cover and cook for 2 minutes
- Remove the pot and stir in the cream
- You can top this soup with crunchy bread
Spicy Bean Soup
This soup is also packed with lots of veggies and nutrients. It uses basic ingredients that are simple and spicy to get you warm in cold weather. The cooking time for this soup is about half an hour.
You will need;
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 tbs. ground cumin
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup chilli powder
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can tomato juice
- 2 crookneck squash cut into thick rounds
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 head, broccoli
- 2 cans cannellini, beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 zucchini sliced into cubes
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- Use a large stockpot to heat the olive oil.
- Add the onions, garlic, celery, and bell peppers
- Stir the ingredients and sauté for 10-15 minutes
- When the garlic and onions become soft, add in the cumin, chilli powder, coriander, oregano, and red pepper
- Stir the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add the tomato juice, tomato paste, and the salt
- Next, add the beans, vegetable stock, and lentils
- Stir in the squash, zucchini, and broccoli
- Allow the pot to boil over high heat
- Uncover the pot and reduce the heat to medium
- Cook the soup until the lentils are tender, and keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from sticking
- When the soup has thickened, season with a little more salt
- Serve the soup and top it up with basil and the shredded cheese
As you can see, making soup is as easy as having the staple ingredients in your kitchen. You can stock up with fresh vegetables in autumn and get ready for the winter months. All you will need is a few recipes to get you going, and you are good to go.