Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kitchen Tips: Soups and Stews

I love homemade soup! And since its fall, we will be having them more often.
-One of my favorite tips for creamed soups is to mix several tablespoons of plain flour into my milk before adding to the soup. It gives it a smooth and thicker texture. 

-Another interesting way to thicken soups is to add a small amount of oats or grated potato. 
BTW, have you ever had Oat Soup? :-)
-You can also add potato flakes. 

 -Need your meat to be more tender? Try cooking it first in a little (raw is good) vinegar, cooking wine, or strong tea....or just adding them to the soup as it simmers.

Another tip (that my dh and I disagree on- but perhaps you can tell me what works for you) is to cook your meat (whether in soups and stews or main dishes) on low or simmer. I think cooking meat at really high temps makes it much tougher. Anyone else have an opinion here?

-For vegetable soups, you can always puree part of your veggies for a thicker soup.

-One neat soup rule is - 1/2 1/4 1/4.
1/2 veggies
1/4 meat or lugumes
1/4 grains/pasta

-For best flavor, use real broth, preferably bone broth! (Cook bones with a few tablespoons of vinegar to pull out the minerals/calcium.)

-Add herbs and spice at the end of the cooking for best flavor.

-Soups always taste better the next day, so making the day before is always a good idea and you can chill and skim the fat from the top if you like.

-Save leftover liquids from cooking vegetables (or canned) in a tub in the freezer for your next pot of soup.

-Save dabs of leftover veggies for your next pot of Vegetable Soup.

-I've also heard some say that if you drop in a leaf of lettuce, it will absorb the grease and then you can remove it.

-Got a double-boiler? Those are a great way to reheat soup!

Happy soup-making!

This post is also linked to:
Somewhat Simple
The Shabby Creek Cottage


Joy said...

Great tips! I also think cooking meat at a lower temp makes it more tender. Cooking fast to me makes a tougher, and total different texture.
We love soups here too, we will have at least 3 on the menu this week! ;)
What are you favorite soups. My familys favorite right now is Cheeseburger soup!

Donna said...


Hamburger Soup, Butternut Squash, Split Pea, Okra-Tomato-Corn Soup, Clam Chowder....

How do you make Cheeseburger Soup?
:) Sounds yummy!

Alice said...

I would love to try some soups this fall/winter.

I'll look forward to more recipes....hint.

Donna said...

I will see what I can do for you Ma!

Anonymous said...

What? A lettuce leaf will absorb grease? That sounds so weird, I just may try it and see if it's true! ;)

I agree with you, I think simmering meats makes them more tender. There's a BIG difference in how tender my beef stew meat is when I simmer it (either in the crock pot or on the stove top) and the time when we tried using it for kabobs on the grill... yikes! :)

Thanks for sharing all your tips, Donna! I love that top picture, too, wow!! :)


Donna said...

Thank you Tammy-
especially for KTT!!! :-)

Yes- gotta try that lettuce tip!
Ever had Wilted Lettuce or Kilt Lettuce? That makes me think it could absorb it.

Blessings to you!