One of the reasons why I love making new soups so much is that soup making is actually pretty easy. Of course there are intricate recipes that use spices that I’ve heard of or require methods of preparation that are new to me, but for the most part, soup making is essentially about interchanging ingredients to create a balance of flavors. This balance can be something that is familiar like with a classic chicken noodle soup or with an international soup where you trying something new. No matter what type of soup you want to create, most likely, you already have some key ingredients right in your home. So, check the list, clear out your cupboard, and get chopping to make your unique homemade soup tonight.
1.Salt and Pepper. Some soups can bland and lifeless without these every day aromatics. Make sure you always have them stocked up in your cupboard and in particular sea salt and cracked pepper.
2. Fresh or Dried Herbs. There is nothing like fresh herbs to season a soup. You can use a bouillon but I find them too salty and adding herbs like basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, or oregano to your soup will really add a lot of depth and flavor to a seemingly boring soup. Of course, if don’t have a garden or fresh herbs available to you, dried seasonings are a great (and long-lasting) substitute.
3. Onion and Garlic. I can’t say enough about these aromatic ingredients. I use them in almost every soup I make since their powerful flavors works really well to enhance vegetables and make a boring soup something amazing. Since cutting cloves of garlic can be time-consuming, I often buy a big jar of pre-chopped garlic (lasts for months!) and onions by the pound.
4. Form of Protein. Do you have some chicken from last nights dinner or something in the freezer, but don’t know what to make with it? Well, the simplest answer is to give your food new life in a soup. Chop up your chicken, fish or meat add in some water and fresh herbs for a simple and comforting dinner. And protein doesn’t just apply to meat – tofu, beans and some grains like quinoa, barley, and buckwheat are excellent in soup.
5. A Vegetable. Another easy ingredient to have around the house. Try to go fresh, but if not the frozen variety makes it very easy to whip together a soup. I love a simple carrot and pea soup, along with some onions, garlic, salt and pepper and you have a quick and hearty soup.