Homemade Soup Information and Stock Recipes

Cans, packets, cubes; immense variety available, though in general cans have fresher flavour; add freshly chopped herbs to tomato, oxtail, minestrone, asparagus; fresh or soured cream to any creamed soup, e.g. mushroom, asparagus, tomato. Wherever possible, float fresh ingredients in individual bowls of soup, e.g. seeded and chopped tomato for tomato soup, garnished with freshly grated orange rind; a few sliced mushroom caps sautéed in butter for mushroom soup. Sherry gives a kick to canned consommé or oxtail, grated Gruyere to canned French onion soup.

Soups

Homemade soups are among the easiest of foods to make, and canned, packet and cube soups have nothing like the flavour and texture of their homemade counterparts. Virtually any ingredient, from vegetables and even fruit, to meat and poultry, or a mixture of these, can be used. To achieve the best flavour, good stock is the most important ingredient of all. Stock cubes, although convenient to use, should be avoided in soup-making as they tend to be bland and salty. Wherever possible, if stock is stated in a recipe, use homemade.

 

Broths are the sustaining soups, often meals in themselves. They are best made in winter with the cheaper cuts of meat and lots of root vegetables. Broths need long slow cooking. Serve with fresh bread or toast and cheese or pate for a hearty lunch or welcome-home supper.

Cream soups are thickened by pureeing vegetables and stock in a sieve, electric blender or Mouli-legumes and then enriched with a little cream. Serve in 300 ml./1/2 pint bowls with fresh bread for lunches and snacks, 150 ml./1/4 pint quantity for the first course of a lunch or dinner party.

Iced soups are summer soups, perfect for entertaining on hot balmy nights. They should be served as cold as possible; be sure to chill several hours in the refrigerator before serving. Chill the soup tureen and soup bowls at the same time. Delicately coloured iced soups benefit from being garnished with freshly chopped herbs and swirls of cream.

Chowders are thick substantial soups, ideal for supper meals. The name ‘chowder’ originates from the French word chaudiere which was the cooking vessel used in France for soups and stews. Nowadays, chowders often contain fish or shellfish and are particularly popular in the United States.

Soups with a difference, from the rich colourful beetroot soup known as borshch in Russia. To the less familiar Greek avgolemono, a subtle combination of chicken stock, eggs and lemon juice are the foreign soups that complete the chapter. These Mouli-légumes easy way to give an international flavour to your everyday cooking.

 

Stock Recipes

 

Beef stock

For broths and meat and vegetable soups. Also used in casseroles and stews, etc. Ask the butcher to chop the bones in easy-to-handle pieces.

METRIC

Approx. ¾-1 kg. Marrow and shin bones

Salt

1 onion, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 bouquet garni

6 black peppercorns

IMPERIAL

Approx. 1-1/2-2 lb. Marrow and shin bones

Salt

1 onion, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 bouquet garni

6 black peppercorns

Put the bones in a large saucepan. Cover with water (about 2 1/2 quarts) and add 1 x 1.25 ml. Spoon/1/4 teaspoon salt for each quart of water. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum with a slotted spoon. Half cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2 hours, skimming occasionally.

Add the vegetables, bouquet garni and peppercorns and continue simmering a further 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water if the level drops below that of the bones. Remove from the heat and strain. Leave to cool, then skim off fat with a spoon or absorbent kitchen paper. Use immediately or keep in the refrigerator.

NOTE: homemade stock deteriorates quickly; therefore, it should not be kept for any length of time — a maximum of three days in the refrigerator. However, stock does freeze and will keep for about two months if stored in the freezer.

Ham stock

Make as for Beef Stock, substituting a ham (knuckle or shank) bone for the marrow and shin bones.

White stock

Use for delicately flavoured and pale-coloured soups. Make as for Beef Stock, substituting blanched veal bones for the marrow and shin bones.

Chicken stock

Make as for Beef Stock, substituting a whole chicken carcass for the bones. After straining stock, pick over the carcass and remove any meat still on the bones. Add to the stock. Duck and Turkey Stock can be made in the same way.

Fish stock

For use in all fish soups, chowders, fish stews, etc.

METRIC

Approx. ½ kg. Fish heads, bones, tails, etc. (cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, etc.)

1 x 2.5 ml. spoon salt

2 celery stalks with the leaves, scrubbed and chopped

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 parsley sprig

1 bay leaf

6 black peppercorns

IMPERIAL

Approx. 1 lb. Fish heads, bones, tails, etc. (cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, etc.)

½ teaspoon salt

2 celery stalks with the leaves, scrubbed and chopped

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 parsley sprig

1 bay leaf

6 black peppercorns

Put the fish trimmings in a saucepan. Cover with water and stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum with a slotted spoon. Lower the heat, half cover with a lid and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, skimming occasionally if necessary. Remove from the heat and strain. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Use the same day.

 

Garnishes and accompaniments

Simple garnishes and accompaniments give a professional finish to soup and make it look more inviting.

Fresh herbs

Parsley: should be finely chopped. Allow 2 x 15 ml spoons/2 tablespoons for four soup bowls and sprinkle onto the centre of each. Suitable for most broths and purees and for soups which lack natural colour.

Chives: snip finely with scissors. Use as an alternative to parsley. Particularly good as a garnish for iced soups. Cream: fresh single cream or soured cream makes an attractive garnish if swirled in individual bowls (soured cream will need thinning down with a little top of the milk). Cream cheese can also be thinned and used. For a special garnish, swirl cream or cream cheese and sprinkle over parsley in each bowl.

Cheese: grated cheese — Cheddar, Parmesan, Gruyere — can be sprinkled over individual flameproof bowls and put under a preheated hot grill until bubbling; good with soups such as Tomato Chowder or French Onion. Cheese can also be grated onto toast for a garnish. Toast thin slices of bread, crusts removed, on one side only, then butter untoasted sides and sprinkle thickly with grated cheese and a little cayenne or paprika pepper. Grill under a preheated hot grill until melted and browned, then cut into small cubes or triangles and float on top of individual soup bowls. Good with most meat or vegetable soups.

Croutons: especially good with cream and puree soups as they provide a crunchy contrast in texture to the smoothness of the soup. Hand separately in small bowls.

For Fried Croutons: cut stale bread, crusts removed, into small cubes or triangles and fry in equal quantities of hot oil and butter until crisp and golden-brown. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and serve immediately, or keep hot until serving time.

For Toasted Croutons: toast bread, crusts removed, on both sides, then cut into small cubes or triangles.

For Potato Croutons: parboil 1 or 2 potatoes for 10 minutes, leave to cool, then skin and dice. Fry and drain as for Fried Croutons.

Vegetables: make attractive garnishes for vegetable soups, e.g. sliced raw or sauteed mushrooms on mushroom soup, young celery leaves for celery soup, thin strips of cucumber for iced cucumber soup, grated raw carrot for carrot soup, etc.

16. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Food, Soups | Tags: | Comments Off on Homemade Soup Information and Stock Recipes

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