- Posted March 16, 2013 by
Vegetable Soup Recipes
Soups are usually served at the start of a meal together with an appetizer or salad. However, these can also be taken as a main course if it is chunky, thick and full of hearty ingredients. Some restaurants serve it in two portion sizes: a cup which serves as a snack or starter and a bowl which is a larger more satisfying portion. The aroma of a steaming bowl comforts and takes one back to a home-cooked meal prepared by mom.
The lightest of vegetable soups include light broths which can be made from onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper and pretty much anything that’s fresh and in season. Cream soups can be made with asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms and spinach which is more substantial and has more calories because of the addition of butter, milk or cream. It is coursed through a blender or food processor until the desired consistency is reached from silky smooth to coarse and chunky.
French onion soup is one of the most popular dishes served in fine dining European restaurants. Called soupe à l'oignon in its country of origin, French onion soup is made with a base of savory beef broth served with croutons and a melted cheese topping that almost forms a crust on top of the bowl.
Though ingredients are eventually cooked through boiling, components can start off cooking with a quick sauté in oil to develop some caramelization of natural sugars before the addition of cooking liquid, usually water or broth for a more flavorful dish. A crock pot or slow cooker can be used which conveniently finishes off the dish without having to check it frequently for doneness.
In temperate countries that have four seasons, different soups are prepared using what’s available that time of year. Summer cools you down with chilled gazpacho while winter soups warm you up with heartier chowders and heavy noodle soups. Autumn soups use ingredients used during Thanksgiving like apple and squash while spring is a celebration of the season with freshly picked produce from the garden like peas, baby artichokes and asparagus spears.
Experiment with different herbs and combinations taking inspiration from the cuisine that they are widely used in. Fennel has a pleasant licorice aroma while cilantro has a distinct Asian flavor.