As the weather cools down, I’m looking forward to cooking some more warming dishes. And what’s better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup?
There are so many different kinds of soup, that I thought it would be good to start with the general technique. If you’d like some more specific recipes, let me know!
You will need:
- a sharp knife
- a chopping board
- a large saucepan
- a measuring jug
- a kettle
and the ingredients:
- A little oil
- herbs and spices
- stock (link) or stock cube
Start by placing your saucepan on a gentle heat. Add a little oil (less than a teaspoon is fine), and chop your onion. (For soup that cooks quickly, dice your onion (like this), but if you’ve got a bit more time slices (link) or even chunks of onion (link) are fine.)
Add your onion to the pan, along with any dried herbs or spices you want to use. I like to use garlic and ginger in most dishes, and the other spices I use depend on what vegetables I’m using. For example tomato and basil is a classic combination, as is carrot and coriander.
Gently fry your onions until they’re slightly golden and see-through. Then add your stock. You need about as much stock as you want soup – I recommend about 250ml or half a pint per person. Put the lid on, and bring it to a gentle boil.
Chop your vegetables and add them to the soup. So that everything cooks evenly, start with the vegetables that take longest (like carrots), and end with the vegetables that need the least cooking (like green vegetables). If you’re not sure how long something takes to cook, check out the Techniques tab here on How to Chop a Carrot.
Once all the vegetables are soft all the way through, your soup is cooked. But if you want to make it thicker or stronger, you can leave it cooking for a bit longer. Before serving, make sure to taste your soup and add any salt or fresh herbs you want to add.
A hearty bowl of vegetable soup is great with melted cheese and a slice of toast, or why not spice it up and serve with egg and noodles?
Soup is such a versatile dish; it’s great for using up leftovers. (Even those half-used jars of sauce lurking in your fridge.) You can even blend everything together after cooking to make a really thick, smooth soup.
If you make soup with this recipe, I’d love to see a picture of your finished dish!