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With the cool weather finally on its way, its time for you to learn how to make homemade soup. Do you buy it in cans? Or the new and trendy boxed soups? Well, I do that occasionally, too, but if you make homemade soup, you can rest assured that you are providing a healthy family dinner with simple ingredients that YOU get to control. Sure, you may choose to load it with cheese and cream like my homemade broccoli soup but you know what ISN’T in there? Preservatives, artificial colors, and a huge amount of salt! Natural ingredients are best whenever possible and soup is easy to make.
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How to Make Homemade Soup
So, you want to make homemade soup but aren’t sure how to get started. I can help with that! I have been experimenting over the last year with a variety of homemade soups. If you want some inspiration and actual recipes, check out my homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons. Or, maybe you have a cold and need to clear your head? Try my spicy lemongrass soup and get your head cleared out. If you want a few tips on how to make homemade soup on a regular basis, here are a few tips:
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Make Homemade Stock:
Homemade stock isn’t hard to make, it just takes a bit of time. If you have leftover chicken bones or vegetable scraps, you have enough to make homemade stock. You can use anything from onion skins, carrot tops or potato peels to go along with your leftover bones. Here are a few homemade stock tips if you want to give this a try:
- Store bones and vegetable scraps in a large zip lock bag in the freezer. When it’s full, dump it into the water and start cooking.
- Try using your slow cooker to make homemade stock. Turn it on low with the water, bones, veggies, etc. Then, cover and leave it overnight.
- Add fresh or dried herbs. You can add leftover scraps of herbs to your zip lock bag in the freezer as you stock up on scraps. Or just add fresh or dried herbs to the water as you simmer your stock. You can put them in a tea ball to keep your broth clear.
- Invest in some unbleached cheese cloth to strain your stock before you use it. It will look much clearer and have a nicer ‘visual appeal’.
- Store your homemade stock in freezer bags in the freezer laying down to take up less room. Make sure they are tightly sealed and lay them on a cookie sheet for freezing. You may have to separate out the fat layer by chilling it first or using a fat separating measuring cup.
Make dried soups in bulk:
By storing a large batch of homemade dried soup mix in the pantry, you will always have an easy meal on hand. Canned soups are usually very high in sodium and by making your own dried soup mix, you are able to control the amount of salt that ends up in yours. If you have a food dehydrator, you can dry vegetables or buy dried vegetable mixes online. Add spices like parsley, black pepper, bay leaves or powdered milk for a creamy soup. Include fresh ingredients like crumbled bacon, cheese, chives, green onion or parsley before serving for a flavorful touch.
Use up your leftovers:
Sometimes the best soups are the ones made from whatever you have hanging out in your refrigerator! If you have a bit of leftover chicken from Tuesday’s meal and some peas and carrots from Wednesday’s dinner, just make them into homemade soup. Combine them with homemade broth and some pasta or rice and you’ll have the perfect, comforting meal for a chilly night.
Cook on simmer:
Once your homemade soup has come to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and keep an eye on it. If you boil things too vigorously, the vegetables get mushy, the meat gets tough, and the noodles overcook quickly.
Have the right tools:
If you want to learn how to make homemade soup, the first step is to get the right tools. A large stainless steel pot and long handled wooden spoon come in very handy. That way, you can make it in bulk and not burn yourself stirring your homemade soup. If you want to make a creamy, smooth soup, you should buy an immersion blender. I bought one several years ago and it is SO much easier than trying to pour hot soup into a blender to be pureed!
Time things carefully:
Peas will cook much faster than a large chunk of carrot. Stagger the addition of your ingredients so that they’re all finished cooking at the same time.
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.