Easy Measures To Prepare Amazing Soups

By Thomas D. Mickel

All would certainly agree that soups are good foods that can easily tingle your taste buds. If you would like to enjoy the nutritional goodness of the soup, it is advisable to always prepare them at home. There's a common perception that the home made soups are not very good and tasty in contrast to the ready to use soups. Well this isn't the case always. Homemade soups could be the ideal mixture of the nutrition and taste if prepared the correct way. If you would like to avail these twin advantages of the soups, read on to grasp the measures that can help you out with the same.

When making home-made soup, it's the stock that you use that needs maximum attention. If you are in a position to make the soup right, the soup is sure to be savoury. While making soup, try to use the maximum ingredients practicable. For instance, if you're making veggie stock, attempt to use plenty of veggies. This would give the soup a rich flavor and a pleasing texture too.

Keep a tab on the amount of water that you use for the soup. It's been observed that a majority of folks add excess quantity of water to the soup. This can make the soup awfully watery and so can also take away the first flavor of the soup. Like excess of water is a complete no-no, you must also not be really miser in using water in the soup. Water is necessary to be added to the soup to keep up its flavor. However, make sure that you exploit it in the right quantity and proportion. This must be done keeping the percentage of ingredients in mind.

Apart from the ingredients, you also must be caution about the way you cook the soup. Soups shouldn't be cooked on a high flame. Make sure that you cook the soup only on a medium flame. If you are using fragile ingredients like mushrooms, try cooking on a slower flame. Cooking the soup at strangely elevated temperatures can destroy the flavor of various ingredients used. If feasible try cooking the soup on fire instead of the typical stove. This may give a special taste to the soup.

Seasoning is also a vital part of making a flavorful broth. Most people incline to add only salt for additonal flavor. However, you could be a touch more adventurous by adding other seasoning varieties such as oregano or basil. However, do not be over liberal with these seasonings either as they can destroy the first flavor of the stock. So, practice moderation when using them.

Last but not the least; try to be little experimental with your soup preparations. You don't need to stick to the proven soups always. Simply, give shot to some new ingredients for your soup. You can go a little creative by utilizing stuff like vinegar, lemon, peculiar veg and many more. You can go in for a mix 'n match of the different possible ingredients for a soup. All you need to do is to put together all these ingredients in a pot and put it to boil. In no time you are all ready with a delectable soup that all can relish.

Try these tips and you are sure to come up with the most pleasing soups. - 32170

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Spicy Squash Soup Recipe

By Dave Brown

After preparing ordinary squash soup for friends and family several times now, I have recently discovered the delights of adding a bit of spice into the action! Making the soup hotter not only gives it a nice twist, but I think it also makes it a tastier and more interesting dish.

Any sort of soup makes for a great first dish at a dinner party for so many reasons. It's easy to prepare for a start. Usually the most that's involved is cutting up a few vegetables, throwing them into a pot and cooking them, adding some stock and blending it all up. Being so full of veg it's also incredibly good for you, and may contain more than one of your five a day, and lets not forget the fact that soup also is tastes great!

So, here's my recipe for spicy squash soup increase or decrease the heat of the curry depending on personal preference - I prefer a hotter soup but others may not!


Two butternut squash, seeds removed and chopped into 1" cubes, one onion cut into small pieces, a red chopped chilli, one thinly sliced clove of garlic, a tablespoon of medium curry paste, 300ml of high quality vegetable stock, 200ml of coconut milk, two tbsp fresh chopped coriander and a tablespoon of olive oil.


1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the sliced onion, garlic and chilli and toss so the oil covers them nicely. Fry for around five minutes until the onion has softened.

2. Throw in the butternut squash cubes and fry the lot for a further five minutes. Add the curry paste, stir it around nicely ensuring a consistent covering, and fry it for a minute. Pour in the milk and vegetable stock, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for twenty minutes, or until the squash has softened.

3. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan, add the coriander, and season well. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

Here's a tip (albeit a slightly obvious one) - the freshest ingredients makes for a better soup!! And you know what? In my opinion you can't beat ingredients that are home grown. If you are a keen chef then I recommend this as the results can be superb! - 32170

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Easy Squash Soup Recipe

By Dave Brown

Buternut squash is a fruit that originally came from central America. It closely resembles a pumpkin with yellowish skin and an orange inside. It has a sweet, nutty taste. Squash is brilliant because not only can it be used in many recipes it is also high in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and potassium. Squash can be roasted, toasted, grilled, pured, or mashed and used in many different dishes, mainly soup & casseroles. Below is a recipe for creating a delicious starter. Squash soup is easy to make, taking around thirty minutes and getting the whole family ready for the main meal!

This will serve four people and takes around thirty minutes

Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash, 1 medium-large onion, 500g potatoes, fresh coriander leaves (optional), 1 stock cube, knob of butter, 30ml olive oil and 75ml double cream (optional). Pepper to taste

1. Using a peeler, remove all skin from the squash. Cut off the ends, cut in half and take out all the pips. Then cut into 1" cubes.

2. Add the oil and butter to a large pan. Melt the butter on a low heat.

3. Chop the onion into small pieces. Add to the pan and fry - still on a low heat. You don't want to brown the onion, just soften it up.

4. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Add them to the pan with the onions and mix them well, making sure they are well covered with the oil.

5. Add to the pan the butternut squash. Stir in well, ensuring the squash is covered with oil. Put the pan lid on and allow to cook for 10 min, stirring every couple of minutes.

6. After 10 minutes check that the potato has started to soften. When it softens mix the stock with 1 litre of water and add to the pan. Simmer gently and wait until all vegetables are soft. This should take about 15 minutes and you may need to add water - add just enough to cover the vegetables or the soup will be too watery.

7. Add the coriander and cream to the mix and blend until smooth. - 32170

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Soups For All Seasons

By Kristen Thorpe

Is there anything better that enjoying a warm bowl of rich soup on a cold day? The tastes, the textures, the endless varieties, and let's not forget the comfort food factor. While soups are often thought of as a wintertime food, there's no reason they can't be a year-round favorite. Many of the heartier soups can be a complete meal. And for the hottest days, you can always switch to chilled soup if you prefer. Below are some of are some of the basics about the types of soups you can make.

When you look at soups, you can generally categorize them into either stock-based or non stock-based soups. Then there fruit soups as well, which generally do not use stock base. Stock based soups can include broth, bouillon, and consomm while non-stock based soups are typically your cream soups, purees, chowders, and bisques.

The majority of soup stocks start with a meat. The classic meat choices are commonly beef, lamb, turkey, veal, chicken, and fish. Lighter color meats such as poultry will create a light soup stock while the other darker meats will make a brown colored stock. To flavor the stock you'll typically add vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onion. These soups stocks are the basis for your family favorites including chicken soup, tomato soup, broths, and beef vegetable soups.

If you're making a rich thick puree or cream type soup you'll find they can be a perfect main course for a light dinner or afternoon luncheon. Create such classics as creamed corn or creamed broccoli, split pea, oyster or lobster bisque, bean or potato puree, clam chowder, and much more.

Fruit soups are a wonderful chilled alternative enjoyed year-round, but especially in the heat of summer. Varieties include strawberry, peach, melon, cantaloupe, and cherry. You'll find certain cold soup recipes use vegetable based stock and others list fruit juice in the ingredients instead. Either makes a wonderful vegetarian dish.

There's nothing like well-made, scrumptious, homemade soup to make any meal complete. Remember to top your creamy soups with a simple garnish for that finishing touch. Serve soups like bean or onion in a covered soup dish, while your cream soups are best served in a round, flat soup bowl. Don't be surprised if everyone asks for seconds. - 32170

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Crock Pot Pasta

By Ken Kudra

Delicious pasta dishes are only a crock pot away. While it is true that pasta can be a bit tricky in the crock pot, with a little knowledge you will soon be turning out perfect pasta. There are several ways you can do pasta when you use the crock pot, and it all depends on what recipe you decide to make.

Putting on the Kettle

In some recipes, it is recommended to cook your pasta completely before adding it to your recipe. Alternatively, your crock pot contents might be served on a bed of noodles. You may find this works well with stroganoff, roasted meats with sauces, and other similar recipes.

Other recipes may require that the pasta be partially cooked until it is just tender. The pasta is then added to the crock pot for the last half hour to cook with the rest of the ingredients. This approach works well with chicken Alfredo, casseroles, some soups and other dishes. The noodles will finish their cooking in the crock pot and soak up some of the flavors while they are at it.

It is true that cooking your pasta separately takes more work on your part. Instead of just dishing up, you need to boil the water and cook the noodles. This method does make sure your noodles are just right, but it will not work with every crock pot pasta recipe.

Cooking Pasta in the Crock Pot

Some recipes that you find for the crock pot call for uncooked pasta. They mean less work for you, though in most cases the pasta is still added in towards the end. This technique works well for homemade chicken noodle soup, ramen or goulash. Standard types of pasta should be added to your crock pot about half an hour to an hour before serving. If you are making a ramen soup, the thin noodles only take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook if your crock pot is on the high setting.

Some recipes require you put the pasta in at the beginning, with the other ingredients. Crockpot lasagna is one example. You can also make an incredible macaroni and cheese in the crock pot, but do not leave it for eight hours. This is a recipe that will be done somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours. You can also make baked ziti, stuffed pasta shells, and other similar dishes. Be sure to watch the time on these dishes. They probably will not take all day to cook, and you do not want to end up with mush instead of pasta.

As you can see, you can cook pasta in the crock pot. You just need to tailor your techniques to the recipe. Pasta is a bit delicate as a crock pot ingredient, so watch the pot until you know how a recipe will turn out. With some, it may take an attempt or two to get it just right.

You will soon be feeding your family delicious meals featuring pasta from your crock pot. Pasta is true comfort food, and it has never been easier. - 32170

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Consider Making These 5 Soups

By Patricia Cox

If you're short on ideas for an appetizer, you might want to consider making a soup at home. It's light, it warms the body, and the right ones are absolutely delicious. I have a whole cabinet full of recipes and I'd like to share some ideas with you.

There are so many different things you can do with soup, and people often seem to overlook the many possibilities. Having prepared hundreds of different kinds of soup, I've done my best to make what some people believe to be a boring dish a very interesting one.

Butternut squash is a great soup, but I like mine even more with apples in it. Mincing some apples with this soup makes it delicious, but I'd go one step further and puree them. This is one of my favorite soups out there and I believe you'll love it too.

2. Broccoli soup with cheddar cheese croutons. You've probably had the broccoli and cheddar combo on its own, but the cheese flavored crouton here is a game changer.

If you're a fan of potatoes, try throwing a nugget into the middle of a cream of potato soup. Not only does it add to the flavor, but it gives your soup a great texture, as the warm potato will really enhance the overall experience.

Pumpkin is in season right now and people love a good pumpkin soup. Making one of these from a fresh pumpkin can be absolutely delicious. There are a number of different ways this can be served, both hot and cold. Use your imagination and get creative with the many possibilities.

5. Ham and cheddar cheese soup. This is an original recipe that consists of a cheddar cheese brother, with bits of ham. The ham is best served boiled, which should probably go without saying if it's inside the soup.

There's a good chance that one of the above soups may appeal to you. If I haven't done my job, keep on thinking and I'm sure that any one of these ideas could ultimately lead to something else. - 32170

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Slow Cooker History

By Ken Kudra

Crock-pots... almost everyone has one, but do they use them? Many just stay in the cupboard, completely underused. Slow cooking has been used for hundreds of years to get the most out of food, but it used to be a lot more work than it is today.

Way Back When

People have been slow cooking their meals ever since they learned how to smelt iron and make a pot. A large kettle could be simmering over the fire throughout the day, or a small, covered Dutch oven could be set into the coals for cooking. It has long been known that slow cooking has many benefits for our food. The downside to the old methods is the constant tending needed for the fire, as well as frequent stirring of the food.

Slow cooking tenderizes even tough cuts of meat through the gradual softening of the fibers in the meat. The low heat gradually melts the natural collagen within; making a delicious, thick, and gelatin-rich meal that is full of nutrition. Long cooking times over low heat slowly breaks down the fibers in tough root crops like rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips. It also tenderizes stored crops like dried beans and lentils until they are not only tender, but also delicious.

The Crock Pot

The Beanery was introduced in the'50s by the Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago. It was designed to make baked beans. The Beanery was a ceramic pot fitted inside a pan lined with heating elements inside. This design allowed for even heating without direct contact with the food, making it easier not to burn the contents.

Naxon was bought by Rival in'70. The Beanery was reinvented as the Crock Pot. During the'70s, more women were joining the workforce, and the Crock Pot helped them manage to feed their families as well. It was easy enough to fill it before they left for work and be able to come home to a hot meal.

As the years have progressed, so has the Crock Pot. Now they feature removable ceramic pots for easier cleaning and storage of leftovers. The old ones were a single piece, making cleaning difficult due to the attached electrical cord. The new ceramic liners are even dishwasher safe, making them even more convenient for busy families. Many of the newer slow cookers also feature a warming setting as well as Low and High. Some are electronic and will automatically switch to warm when the food is done.

While women made many dishes slow cooking the old way, today's crock-pot is even more versatile. Beans, stews, casseroles, and roasts are the most common dishes made in the crock-pot. You can also make foods like lasagna, barbecued pork, and even your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe in your crock-pot.

You can also emulate your ancestors and bake breads by slow cooking. The more you use your crock-pot, the more creative you will get. You may even try desserts and dips if you get adventurous. - 32170

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