4 Tips to Making a Great Soup
The change in season and the onset of cold weather is calling on heartier comfort foods. For this reason, we could not be any more thrilled to showcase some of our favorite TasteTro soup and stew recipes. Our feature soup of the month, Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup exemplifies all of the important components of what makes a good, hearty soup so satisfying during the winter months.
So, what makes a soup good? Here are 4 helpful tips:
1. Focus on good quality ingredients. The flavor of ingredients varies depending on when they were picked. If they were picked close to their optimal ripeness, they are more likely to be full of flavor. This counts for spices and herbs too. If they are picked at the perfect time, then dried, they will be of utmost quality.
Next, the quality of the soil and the nutrients present play a huge role in flavor. Organic crops are the optimal choice as they are not mono-cropped, meaning that they are rotated in with other crops throughout the growing season. Topsoil is built up rather than broken down. This proper cycling helps support healthy soil and nutrient development so that the crop does not require chemical fertilizers.
2. Apply the right cooking techniques. Good flavor carries itself throughout the cooking process, especially if the right cooking techniques are applied. Allowing flavors to develop with time, especially in soups and stews is important for building flavor. Sautéing your onions and garlic allows their sweetness and aroma to come out. Just make sure to cook them on medium high heat in fat that can handle a higher heat like ghee, clarified butter. Avoid adding onions and garlic to watery liquids as this will inhibit flavor development Also, make sure to add the garlic after the onions have become translucent. This ensures that the garlic will not burn.
3. Add spices into the pan first thing to help activate the aromas in the spices and allow their true potential to be discovered. Heat up some oil, then add your spices and cook for a minute or so before adding any other ingredients. Also, remember to always add dry herbs at the beginning of the cooking process to rehydrate them, while leaving fresh herbs for the very end as heat destroys them.
4. Choose a good quality stock will make a huge difference in your soups and stews. If you have the time, we always recommend making your own. Vegetable stock can be as simple as throwing your veggie scraps in a pot of cold water, adding in the TasteTro Bouquet Garni blend and bringing it to simmer. It is done in 45 minutes and can be frozen for up to six months!
Following these simple steps will get you the flavor results you want in any dish, especially soups and stews. Better yet, you can rely on us for premium quality spice blends. Our TasteTro blends and recipes are crafted by professional chefs and use cooking principles just like these to ensure you are getting the most out of your handcrafted blends.
Recipe: Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup
1lb carrots, chopped
1lb parsnips, chopped
½ onion chopped
¼ cup avocado oil
1 garlic cloves minced
1.5 L vegetable stock
1 tbsp Winter Soup blend
1 ½ tsp salt (optional)
Garnish: toasted pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Place carrots, parsnips, onion, and garlic on a lined baking sheet drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spice mix and salt if desired. Bake for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized.
3. Add vegetable mixture into a pot with vegetable stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Using a hand blender, food processor, or blender blend until smooth.
Serve hot and garnish with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!