Hey, readers! The month of May is always a little hectic around here, and I only just found some time to sit down and notice that we're in full swing of vegetative seasons. Soon, our tables will be full of wonderful vegetables, and our bodies will be better prepared to accept light meals.
Add to that the desire to look better in summer clothes, and we're heading straight to the only sensible conclusion:
Soups are great, filling meals which are also much lighter and easier on your figure than most of other stuff we eat, especially if we have all those amazing vegetables at our disposal.
With that in mind, I've decided not to give you another specific recipe, but something more universal:
Tips For a Delicious Soup - Any Soup
1. Soup-creams... or not?
I love cream soups, and I will usually blend the everloving hell out of anything. My recipes show that plainly. In most cases, though, this step can be omitted without much harm to the dish.
However, you can also have the best of both worlds: just take out some of the vegetables before blending, and add them back in afterwards. You get a smooth taste and something to get your teeth into at the same time.
2. Stir-frying - your best friend
Most soups will be better if you stir-fry your vegetables first. This can be done in the pot you will use for boiling so no additional work required. Adding a little bit of oil makes soup richer, and various types of oil add their own taste to the mix.
You can also control the taste you get by how much you fry them - lightly seared, or nicely crisp? Bell peppers soup and onion soup are two dishes that can be changed very much just by this simple technique.
3. Vegetable combinations
Recipes are always at hand nowadays, in books or on cooking blogs, but if you're on your own, you can still come up with something by following the simple rule of always combining a milder kind of vegetable with at least one spicier kind: leeks and potatoes, chili and tomatoes, onion with absolutely everything. Seriously, onion is like the wild card of cooking. Carrot is an interesting case, because carrots can be mildly sweet or very spicy depending on a variety.
4. Colour tricks
The only problem with vegetable soups is that sometimes you get a bland bowl of stuff that doesn't really look very well. This is easily remedied by small additions that may not influence the taste but will do wonders for the looks. The easiest colour tricks are:
- some mild carrots for the orange-ish hue,
- a little bit of turmeric for a golden hue,
- onion peel for a very nice gold-brown effect (use the nicer, tender peels, not the dry and dirty outer layers)
- a piece of beetroot for a pinkish hue, good for greenish, ghastly soups.
5. Pretty serving bowls
If you have trouble convincing yourself that soups can be fun, just think how many odd and fun things you can use to serve them in. Cocktail glass? Teacup? How about you use the ladle to drink straight from the pot, Panoramix-style? Now try that with a steak. Go on. I'll wait.