8 secrets to successful soup

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Foolproof tips for adding flavour, mastering the consistency and covering up mistakes when you spoil the broth

1. MAKE A GREAT BASE

Garlic and onions are the usual base of most soups, but you can use leeks instead of onions for a slightly sweeter flavour. Always sweat vegetables to bring out their sweetness before you add liquid, as this helps marry the flavours.

2. COOK UP A FLAVOUR-PACKED BROTH

There’s a reason you should stockpile beef and chicken bones in your freezer! Prevent a cloudy broth by skimming off any foam that rises to the top (you can also strain broth through cheesecloth before adding other ingredients).

3. SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS

Instead of making a bouquet garni wrapped in muslin, just pop your herbs (usually thyme, parsley and a bay leaf ) in a tea ball for the pot.

(A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs, tied together with string or wrapped in muslin, and used in the preparation of soups, stocks and stews. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but removed before serving.)

4. MAKE A CREAMY SOUP

If you’re avoiding dairy, or have simply run out of cream, add a potato or two to cauliflower or broccoli soup, or even a handful of cashew nuts for rich creaminess.

5. MAKE IT TANGY

A dollop of yoghurt in butternut, asparagus or curry-based soups adds delicious tanginess as an alternative to the richness of cream.

6. ADD A DASH OF RED WINE VINEGAR

Brighten and sharpen flavours with red wine vinegar – especially in minestrone or bean soup. A squeeze of lemon also lifts the taste.

7. UP YOUR UMAMI.

Add a Parmesan rind (freeze them for when needed) to your soup and let it simmer to release its nutty, salty, umami flavours into chunky veg and pasta soups. A dash of soya sauce in beef and pork stocks, or even chicken and veggie stock, will also add complexity.

8. ABSORB TOO MUCH SALT

The entire pot’s not lost if you’ve been too heavy-handed with your seasoning. Try adding a chopped raw potato to soak up some of the excess.

Browse all soup recipes here.

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Editor quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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