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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Skills Saturday: Soup Basics

Almost every culture has its own variation on chicken soup, and rightly so - it's one of the most gratifying dishes on the face of the Earth. 
Yotam Ottolenghi there any other food that brings more comfort throughout the world than this?  I love soup...all kinds of soup and I am sure to make it at least once per week.  Soup can be thick and hearty or silky smooth and fancy but it is the bringing together of the ingredients that nourishes both body and soul.

I'm posting this on Skills Saturday because making soup is an economical way to feed yourself and your family with only a few basic ingredients.  You can make a vegetable soup from all the leftovers in your refrigerator from this week....or a comforting potato soup with little more than potato, butter, flour and cream.  You can start with a broth you have canned at home or one you purchase at the grocery.  Please be sure to always have some broth on hand to have a soupy Saturday meal in almost no time at all!

There are thousands of soup recipes on the internet and I encourage you to read as many as you wish....but what I really want is for you to break the canned soup habit and learn the skill of making it yourself.

Here are some basics - feel free to mix and match ingredients as much as you want.

Basic Broth Soup
Saute onion, garlic, celery and carrots and add some broth; put in any vegetables you have on hand and simmer until tender; next add a grain - it could be rice or barley or pasta or noodles - whatever you have; season to your liking and serve.

Basic Pureed Soup
Saute onion and garlic and add some broth; next add beans or potatoes and cook until tender; add other vegetables if you want and cook them through too; then puree in the blender until smooth.  Be careful when you puree hot liquids and do it in small batches - blenders tend to make a real mess if you overfill with anything hot.

Chicken broth makes a really wonderful base for soup so if you do eat meat, make your own!  

Basic Chicken Broth
Start with a chicken carcass - you can even use the one from the rotisserie chicken you bought from the market for a quick meal after work.  Place in a large pot and cover with about 3 quarts of water.  Simmer for about 3 hours then strain the liquid through a colander to separate the bones from the broth.  If there is any meat that was on the carcass, you can put it back into the broth for extra protein in your finished soup. If you prefer, you can add onions, celery, carrots and garlic while simmering for added flavor.  Salt, pepper, bay leaf or other herbs like thyme are wonderful additions too.

I hope you add this skill to your kitchen repertoire and teach your children too!  I would love to have comments on what your favorite soup is and what soups you will be cooking soon.

Tomorrow is Sunday Cooking and I will share our family adventures into gingerbread.  Hope to see you then :)

Peace be with you,

Star Schipp


  1. We make our own broth whether it be chicken or beef or even fish broth. It can be so yummy and good. My husband loves soup and he does most of the soup making. He likes to say we do it together--and we do.
    We also have a large garden and add all kinds of stuff to the basic broth and go from there.
    Good topic--thank you.

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog. I love to make soup too, and I enjoyed this post very much! I am glad girlgab connected us.

  3. Inspired by your ideas, and because I love pickles...I finally made a soup recipe given to me by a friend of my husband- Dill Pickle Soup. It was rich and thick and not as salty as I thought it was going to be. I served it with my other new skill, homemade bread. What a wonderfully warm treat for a meatless Friday. Thanks for the inspiration! -Laura Steele

    1. Laura - that Dill Pickle Soup sounds good! It is going on my list of recipes to you, I find homemade bread to be the perfect companion for homemade soup. I'm so proud of you!