My husband makes great soups, and the secret to them is in the stock. He makes a batch of stock every now and then, so when we feel like it we pull it out of the freezer and make quick and delicious soups. Stocks are fairly easy things to make, its a question of remembering to pick up those ingredients at the grocery store. Last night we made up some stock, and then Shankar made another variation on his classic Corn Soup. It was pretty good, and we rounded out the night with a nice fresh French baguette dipped in olive oil with crushed red flakes, and some salad topped with Parmesan shavings. This is another great tip for your kitchen, make stock and keep it on hand. You can do all kinds of things with it; cook rice in it, use as a flavouring agent in any dish, and of course make soups.
You can put any vegetables in here that are hard. Do not use soft mushy vegetables as they will do bad things to your stock. Here are a few examples of veggies we put into our stock:
1 leek, 1/2 a bunch of celery, 2 carrots, 1 large onion, outer cabbage leaves, fennel, broccoli stalks, cauliflower stalks. Here are a few examples of seasoning you can add: parsley, basil, lemongrass stalks, coriander, ginger, thai basil, mint (in a small quantity).
1. Simmer a large pot of water on the stove.
2. Add the whole vegetables to the stock pot. You may want to put them in large pieces, so they fit easily. Add the seasoning
3. Simmer for a few hours and you will smell a lovely fragrance when it is done.
4. Strain the vegetables and any dirt out using a cheesecloth.
5. Reserve the liquid, I recommend freezing it in portions.
2 cups of soup stock, 2 cups of frozen corn, 1 small onion, handful of grated carrot, handful of chopped tomatoes, parsely, basil, salt and pepper.
1. Saute the onion in butter, and add the tomato and carrot and cracked black pepper.
2. Add the stock and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Microwave the corn, blend it finely, and add it to the stock.
4. Cook the soup for another few minutes until it thickens nicely, constantly stirring.
5. Salt the soup. You could add a little cream if you wanted.
6. Serve garnished with parsley.
Verdict: Having a husband who is a good cook helps a lot.