~~posted by Jen
Our Faithful Readers are probably wondering why the heck there’s a Top 5 post on Sunday, am I right? Usually we have Top 5 Tuesdays or Thursdays, but this week we’re mixing it up! You get Top 5 today and BF Basics on Tuesday. Have to keep y’all on your toes!
Seriously though, since we’re getting all souped up for our first ever “Soup Week”, I thought it would be helpful to post the Top 5 tools used to make soup at home a couple days early. This way you have plenty of time to gear up and be ready for the Soup Week Cook Along Contest!
Making soup is not as complicated as you might think, but there are a few tools and appliances that make it considerably easier. In no particular order, here are our Top 5 Soup Making Essentials!
1. An Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. I have this Rachael Ray one and I love it. Le Creusetalso makes one this same size, but it’s considerably more expensive. I have several pieces of Le Creuset that I received as wedding gifts, and while they are very nice, I find the Rachael Ray one to be just as good if not better than the pricier brand.
You need the enameled cast iron because it combines the best of both worlds for long-cooking on the stove top. The enamel coating makes it easier to clean, and the cast iron distributes heat evenly to avoid hot spots. That way whatever soup you’re simmering will be heated consistently rather than burned on to the bottom of your pot.
2. A Programmable Slow Cooker. I have 4 Crock Pots. I am not kidding. Of the four, this one is my favorite. One of my BFF’s bought it for my birthday a couple years back, and I use it constantly. (Yes, I am one of those women who actually asks for household appliances on birthdays and Christmas. Don’t judge!)
My favorite thing about this one is you can set the time for it to cook on high or low, and it automatically switches itself to “Keep Warm” once the cook time is up. Genius!
3. An Immersion Blender. This thing cannot be beat for blending up soups! I use it at least a few times a week. The smartest way to avoid the “no drinking while eating” rule when it comes to soups is to make thicker soups. Of course the best way to thicken a soup without adding a ton of unhealthy carbs (read: white flour) is to blend your vegetables into it.
I know several people that use this to mix their shakes also. I personally am not that talented, but hey, go with what works for you!
4. A Leak-proof Thermos. What’s the point in making all that delicious soup if you can’t take some to work for lunch? This 10 ounce leak-proof thermos can be used for hot or cold foods! It keeps hot foods hot for up to 5 hours. And it’s PINK! Need I say more?
If you want a more um professional looking thermos, they also have this onedesigned to fit in a briefcase. It’s also leak proof and keeps foods hot for up to 12 hours.
5. A Food Processor. This is the one I have, the Big Mouth from Hamilton Beach. Mine is white, but I kinda like this jazzy black one. My birthday is coming up! Hint, Hint. Kidding. Sorta. S’anyway, this is the quickest way to chop up your veggies for soups, stews, and casseroles. Mine has a shredder blade also that is excellent for cheese or grating up carrots and cabbage to make Protein Cole Slaw.
So there you have it, our Top 5 essentials for making soup at home! Gear up and get your soup on!