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BF Basics: Making Soup

~~posted by Jen

So we’re about to kick off our first ever Soup Week here on Bariatric Foodie tomorrow! With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to cover the basics for making soup at home. There are a few essential pieces of kitchen equipment that are quite helpful for soup making, I covered those earlier this week in our Top 5 Post.

Soup is a great “clean out the fridge” meal. I use up leftover roasted vegetables, grains (like quinoa), and meats in combination with a few seasonings and extra ingredients to create an entirely new meal.

Now, there are basically 3 methods for making soup. The first is what I call the “weeknight method” which is where you use a little help from your supermarket to put together a quick, delicious soup in less than an hour that tastes like it simmered all day long! A couple of key things you need for the weeknight method:

  • Stock (NOT BROTH, STOCK) in a box (chicken, beef, or vegetable, depending on what kind of soup you’re making)
  • Frozen or canned mixed vegetables
  • Leftover meat from a previous night’s dinner, or a rotisserie chicken from the store
In the colder months, I always have stock in my pantry and frozen vegetable blends in the freezer. Stores usually put chicken stock on sale this time of year in preparation for the holidays. When I catch a good sale on it, I load up. The same with canned and frozen vegetables, stock up when they are on sale then you’ll always have them handy. It makes it that much easier for a quick, hearty, healthy meal any time.

The second method is the “slow cooker method”, this is another of my favorites and is also good for a weeknight meal. The key to this method is allowing yourself a bit of extra time in the morning to set up the ingredients in your Crock Pot and program it to cook while you’re out. You come home to the aroma of delicious soup filling the whole house, and dinner is on the table in seconds. Those extra few minutes in the morning will pay you back twofold in some extra evening time to relax.
Another bonus of the Crock Pot method, you basically throw everything in the pot, turn it on, and walk away. If you’re using dried beans or peas, you don’t have to soak these overnight for a slow cooker soup the way you would if cooking them on the stove top. Some recipes call for browning the meat before you put it into the slow cooker, but I am a lazy cook (as y’all know), so I rarely if ever do that. It’s really not necessary for a soup anyway.

The third method is the “stove top simmer method.” This usually requires a bit more work, so I tend to make stove top soups on the weekends. These are usually soups that involve roasted vegetables or start off with dried beans, peas, or lentils that have to be soaked overnight prior to cooking. In all reality, the stove top soups I make are few and far between. Again, I am a lazy cook, this is not a news flash!

Not to mention I am not a fan of standing over the stove for long periods of time stirring something. I’m probably only one of a handful of native Southerners who never fries foods, for that very reason. However, Sundays tend to be my “big cooking” days where I make several recipes for the boys to eat during the week, so I spend lots of time in the kitchen.

On days like that, when I am doing lots of cooking for my family or testing recipes to share here with y’all, making a stove top soup is perfect. I’ll be hanging out in the kitchen anyway, so I might as well stir some scrumptious soup while I’m there! Some ingredients to have on hand for longer cooking soups, whether stove top or Crock Pot are:

  • Vegetables for Mirapoix (carrots, celery, and onions–fresh or frozen, they even sell them pre-chopped now)
  • fresh or dried herbs 
  • garlic or garlic powder
  • Sofrito (this is a tomato base made by Goya, perfect for thickening tomato-based soups and enhancing their flavor)
  • canned tomatoes
  • beans, peas, or lentils (dried, canned, or frozen)
  • meat of your choice
That pretty much covers the 3 “basic” methods for making soup. Our recipes throughout this week will cover soups in each category with step by step instructions on how to make them. I hope you’re planning to cook along with us for the contest this week! Look for the downloadable shopping list later today along with an announcement about the prizes! Let’s get our soup on! 

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One comment

  1. Thanks. I need all of the help I can get.