Soup, wonderful Soup

For me there are few foods that give me as much pleasure as soup. It’s the ultimate one dish meal. It has all you need nutritionally, and is extremely versatile. From a chefs perspective it is also a ringer for low food cost and high CM. Also an incredible means of using the last bits of product that really have no other function. Additionally it’s not time consuming or rocket science. And of course we are entering the season of soups, with a bumper crop of late season vegetables at our command. For today’s thread, I will explain some of the basic methods of soup preparation.

Clear soups and broths

These would be your lighter soups more likely to be followed by more substantial courses. Religiously speaking, a clear soup is a consomme. This preparation might best be left to the professional. On the other hand, broths can be very enjoyable, and less tricky to prepare. A broth can be composed of any type of vegetables or meats. The stock it self is usually made using a slow gentle cooking process with meat, fish or poultry bones, with the addition of vegetables and aromatic herbs and spices. I know this sounds a little ambiguous, but maybe try using a couple of standardized recipes first before getting adventurous.

Thick soups and Purees

these preparations are much simpler and can be put together in no time at all. I’m preparing a Hubbard squash soup for a private chef function next week. Of course I will be adding a little chef “POP” to it… basically elevating the presentation to a restaurant experience. Basically speaking a thick soup or puree is exactly how it sounds. You have a core element, as in Hubbard squash, a stock and flavouring. In some cases a thickener may be required like roux, potatoes, etc. That’s pretty much all.

Chowders, bisques and International Soups

This is more of a sub category of clear soups and purees. I’m not going to be going into great detail here, as it is a lesson of its own. Some examples are fish Chowders, tomato bisque and mulligatawny soup. There are hundreds of classic soups from every corner of the world to be found in this classification.

Conclusion

This is just an introduction to the concept of soup preparation, an important part of understanding professional cooking. You may want to consider a membership to this site if you are considering upgrading your domestic or professional cooking skills. As a member you’ll have access to hundreds of recipes, cookbooks and downloadable files that will make you a much more competent Cook. Cheers, and have yourself a great day!