Good Soup!

A lot of people don’t realize this, but January is National Soup Month. And it’s easy to see why—the weather is cooler, and everyone is seeking comfort after the busy holidays. But what makes a good soup? Canned soup is fine, but if you’re looking for the best soup, you’ve gotta make it from scratch. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my top soup-making tips. Regardless of your recipe, if you follow these tips, you’re sure to make something SOUPer every time.

Use A Heavy-Bottomed Pot—Soup needs to spend a lot of time on the stove while it’s cooking. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of the pot you’re cooking the soup in. You need to look for a pot with a heavy bottom. This will prevent the ingredients at the bottom from burning while you’re simmering, boiling or anything in between.

When Acidic, Choose Ceramic—Metal cooking pots are fine to make soup in most of the time. But if your soup leans acidic, think a tomato or lemon stock, then it’s a good idea to use a ceramic pot instead of a metal. Because the acidity from your ingredients will pull a metal flavor from your pot as it cooks. And nobody wants metal-tasting soup.

Use Fresh Aromatics—Does your soup call for onion powder, garlic powder and a whole slew of spices like rosemary, bay leaf and oregano? It might be tempting to throw the shelf-stable powdered stuff into your soup, but fresh is always better. Instead of onion powder, use a real chopped onion and instead of garlic powder, use a fresh bulb of garlic. The same goes for your spices. Find the fresh stuff in your grocery store’s refrigerated produce section.

Throw In A Parmesan Rind—Cheese is the magic that makes everything taste better and soup is no exception. The next time you finish a wedge of parmesan don’t throw away the rind, put it in the freezer and toss it in the pot the next time you simmer soup. It’s like a secret ingredient that adds a special zing that’ll leave your guests wondering what you did.

Don’t Rush The Process—Soup isn’t the meal you make when you’re short on time. Soup is the meal you make when you’re looking for something tasty and flavorful. But the only way you get soup to be both tasty and flavorful is by taking your time and simmering on low for long periods of time. So sit back and enjoy the process.

I hope you use these SOUPer-duper tips to make your next soup the best it can be. Stay warm and cozy this winter!