Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful break.
First a big THANKYOU to everyone who commented on my questions just before Christmas. I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.
I’m back feeling super refreshed after a very long holiday and have an exciting announcement for you. But first, let’s talk soup.
I LOVE soup but I used to struggle with 2 things. First was finding the time for lots of simmering. Over the years, however, I’ve discovered that it is possible to make delicious soup in just 10 minutes. It’s just a matter of choosing your soup recipe wisely.
The second problem was that I always felt I had to use stock to get a really delicious full flavoured soup. And mostly I didn’t have any stock in the freezer or the pantry. So I’ve also made a conscious effort to make soups that don’t require stock.
With my new class starting at The Virtual Cookery School on 10 Minute Simple Soups – all made without stock, I thought I’d share a few tricks with you today.
7 tips for full flavoured soup without using stock
1.use aromatic vegetables
One of the secrets to great stock is being generous with the aromatic vegetables – onion, carrots & celery. So rather than add stock, I like to add at least one of these directly to the soup. Big flavour and no waste. Win win!
2. season with soy sauce
I read recently that soy sauce was developed by buddist monks to make vegetarian food taste more palatable and meat like. I’m not so sure of the truth behind the story of soy, but I do know it is rich in lovely umami-type savoury flavours. And even a tablespoon can turn a simple soup into something totally moreish.
3. use a full flavoured accompaniment.
Things like pesto or harissa give a real flavour hit to soup, not to mention adding some textural variation.
4. don’t overdo the water
When you’re making soup without stock, it’s really important that you don’t dilute the soup too much so be sparing with your water at first. You can always thin out a too-thick soup, but rescuing a watery, weakly flavoured number can take hours of simmering.
5. season seriously
Seasoing properly is critical for optimum flavour in all cooking but especially so in soup. Stocks tend to be quite salty naturally, so soup made on a stock base tends not to need as much salt & pepper. When switching to stock-free soup, it can be easy to underseason so be ultra careful to taste and add more salt if the flavours aren’t singing.
6. use a little acid
Think of this as part 2 of seasoning. A little lemon juice or a splash of vinegar can be all a dull soup needs to turn into a vibrant star.
7. spice it up
Some warming chili can do wonders to compliment the warming nature of soup. And a little cumin or coriander or even curry powder can give an old soup a new lease of life.
[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
broccoli & parmesan soup
It’s hard not to love broccoli. All its greenness just screams good for you. And in soup form, it feels even more nurturing.
This would also work well with frozen broccoli. For a vegan version, skip the cheese and serve with a sprinkling of lightly toasted pinenuts or almonds.
If you don’t have a stick blender, feel free to serve as a chunky soup. Or use a regular blender of food processor – just be very careful when pureeing the hot soup.
2 heads broccoli, chopped including tender stalks
1 small piece of parmesan rind, optional, + shaved parmesan to serve
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Add broccoli, parmesan rind, if using and soy sauce.
3. Cover and simmer rapidly for about 8 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
4. Puree in the saucepan with a stick blender until smoothish.
5. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve with extra parmesan sprinkled over the top.