If you are like Sweet Shark and me, you love soup in the fall and winter. So comforting. So easy. Easy to reheat. Serve either at lunch or dinner. Double or triple for lots of leftovers. Serve a small portion as a first course or a big bowl as an entree. A million possibilities. Like any task, it helps in preparation if you have the right tools on hand. Fortunately, making soup requires only a few. Here is my list of 5 Essential Tools You Need for Making Soup.
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A Big Pot
If you are going to make soup, you might as well make a big batch. And you don’t want to scrimp on the size of the pot. My usual go~to pot is one of my Le Creuset Dutch Ovens. They are heavy~duty, clean~up is a snap, and they cook evenly at low temperatures for long periods.
A large stock pot works well, too, although I like a wider pot rather than a tall pot. Stirring is easier, I think.
A Blender or Immersion Blender
Many soups, such as vegetable, minestrone, or chicken noodle do not require puréeing. However, most vegetable~based soups, such as butternut squash and potato, as well as cream soups (cream of broccoli, cream of mushroom, cream of cauliflower) do benefit from puréeing. It’s very hard to get the silky smooth texture that makes these types of soups so appealing without a blender or immersion blender.
An immersion blender allows puréeing directly in the soup pot.
A blender will give you a smoother result than an immersion blender, but you do have one more appliance to clean.
Fine Mesh Sieve
If you don’t have a blender or an immersion blender, a fine mesh sieve allows you to also get a smooth texture so sought after in a cream or puréed soup. It will take more elbow grease on your part and take longer, but it can work.
One of the essential ingredients in most soups is stock and one of the easiest ways to measure your stock into the pot is with a ladle. Ladles come in standard sizes (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1~cup) so you know exactly how much you are adding to the soup. It’s one of the easiest ways to add more liquid to the soup when it needs to be thinned down to the right consistency. And for placing soup into a serving bowl, a ladle is the best way to avoid spills and to know exactly how much soup you are serving ~ especially helpful if you are keeping track of serving amounts and calories. For example, let’s say that a recipe tell you it yields 2 quarts of soup; that’s 64 ounces. That will give you 8 8~ounce (1~cup) servings or 16 1/2~ounce (1/2 cup) servings. Using a ladle is the easiest way to give you the amounts you need.
A Big Wooden Spoon
Soups have to be stirred during all steps of preparation. I don’t think anything works as well as a good old~fashioned wooden spoon. It’s easy to handle and easy to clean. This one belonged to my mother; it must be 30~years~old.
I bet you already have these tools in your kitchen. When I gather all my ingredients for my soup (mise en place), I also gather all the tools I need at the same time, which makes preparation easier and more efficient.
That’s my list. What is yours? Do you have any other tools for making soup that you use? If you do, please share.
Do you think you have to have a recipe to make soup? You don’t necessarily. On this week’s The Bulletin, I’ll share the Super Easy Soup Formula, a way to make dozens of soup dishes, without a recipe. Be sure to sign~up for The Bulletin to receive the Super Easy Soup Formula in your in~box.
Let the soup making begin.