Making Good Soups

Soups are liquid food, generally served warm or cold. They are made by combining a range of ingredients such as stocks, vegetables, meat, etc. and are generally served as a starter or the first course in any meal.

Soups can be traced back as far as 20,000 BC, having evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. Originally, the term used for soups was “broth”, but the name “soup” is actually derived from the old French word “soupe” which means, “bread soaked in broth”.

In the classical kitchen, soups were considered as a complete dish in themselves, because of their rich nutritional value and were served as breakfast or dinner. However, soups are now served as a starter rather than a main course.

New England Chowder, Spanish Gazpacho, Italian Minestrone, French Onion, Chinese Chicken Corn and the classical Consommé of French origin are some popularly known soups from different continents and cuisines. Soups have distinctive flavors and methods of preparation, leading to their wide classification.

Here are some different types of soups...

1. Broth

Soups consisting of meat or vegetables cooked in stock.

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Scotch broth is a wholesome soup, originating in Scotland but now eaten all over the world.

2. Bisque

A rich creamy soup made with shellfish / crustaceans.

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Shrimp or crab bisque is a thick, creamy soup with a delicate flavor, traditionally made with the puréed meat of crustaceans.

3. Cream Soup

Soups that are thickened with a white sauce.

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Cream of broccoli is a soup prepared with broccoli, stock and milk or cream and may be thickened using a roux. Roux is a cooked mixture or equal quantities of flour and butter.

4. Consommé / Clear Soup

A very clear delicate soup made of meat or vegetable broth.

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Consommé is a clear soup with extracted flavors made from white or brown stock that goes through a clarification process to make it rich, flavorsome and transparent.

5. Purée Soup

These are blended soups. Vegetables or legumes that have been, blended or strained to get a smooth, liquid consistency.

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Lentil soup is a Middle Eastern soup that may consist of green, brown, red, yellow or black lentils -traditionally consumed in the winter.

6. Cold soup

A soup which might be a blend of raw or cooked ingredients and is served chilled, especially in the summer.

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Vichyssoise is a pureed soup made of leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock – served chilled and usually consumed in summer.

7. Chowder

A thick, chunky soup or stew containing seafood, potatoes, and milk or cream.

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Fish chowder is a type of chowder made with salmon, cod, or other fish, usually eaten with saltine crackers.

Apart from the classic traditional and regional preferences, soups are versatile and their ingredients could change according to preference.

Soup Recipe of the Day - The Beef Minestrone Soup

About Minestrone with Beef Strips

Minestrone to the Italians means a “Big Soup". This thick soup has a lot of ingredients in it, like pasta, beans, meat and vegetables, a real delight especially during winter.

There is no set recipe for the Minestrone Soup; absence of any fixed recipe is what makes this soup very unique. The Minestrone varies widely across Italy and all over the world, usually made out of vegetables and meat, could be pure vegetarian as well.

This Dish

Minestrone is a thick Italian soup made with vegetables, beef strips, and also pastas. With all base ingredients in the soup, it is also considered a full meal in itself.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Tenderloin (cut into thin strips) 200 g
Onion 3 tbsp
Leek 2 tbsp
Celery 2 tbsp
Carrot (peeled) 3 tbsp
Cabbage/kale 2 tbsp
Courgette 2 tbsp
French beans/peas 3 tbsp
Potatoes 3 tbsp
Tomato purée 3 tbsp
Tomato concassé 5 tbsp
Garlic (minced) 2 cloves
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Chicken stock 600 ml
Sea salt & pepper as required
Macaroni or any small pasta 40 g
To Garnish
Parmesan / Grana Padano (shavings) as required
Extra virgin olive oil as required
Cherry tomato (quartered) 4 pieces
Basil/pesto sauce a sprig

Method of Cooking

  • Cut vegetables into Paysanne. Keep separate from each other.
  • In a medium saucepan, on high heat add olive oil and sear the beef strips, then lower the heat and add onions and garlic, leeks, celery, carrot and sweat without coloring.
  • In a separate medium saucepan, heat chicken stock.
  • Add the tomato purée, mix well and add in the tomato concassé. Season with salt and pepper as required.
  • Add the boiling stock to the sautéed vegetables, simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add in the potatoes and pasta and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Finally add the courgettes, French beans & cabbage and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve hot topped with parmesan cheese shavings, extra virgin olive oil, cherry tomato and basil/pesto.

Note: to make tomato concasse, immerse tomatoes in hot boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Peel tomatoes, cut into quarters, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces.

 

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