Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It’s time for soup!

‘Tis the season for soup. It’s starting to get a little chilly out there, and the rain soon to come. Nothing makes the house smell good as soup. I love a creamy soup with some rolls and butter.  If you have time, you can cook at a simmer all day on the stove or toss it in the Crock pot in the morning if you don’t. Here are some hints from All Recipes to help you create a wonderful cream soup.

Using RouxRoux, which is equal parts flour, butter or oil, is common as a thickener because it not only thickens, but stabilizes, too. If cream or cheese is being added to a soup, a bit of roux can insure it won't "break," or separate.

The Pure Starches
Typically, cornstarch is added to a small amount of cold water or other liquid (wine or stock) and whisked into a thick slurry. This slurry is stirred into the soup at the end to set the final consistency of the soup. Just remember, after you add some of the slurry, let the soup return to a simmer--cornstarch is a very effective thickener, and a little bit can go a long way.

What to do with leftover rice or potatoes? Mash or puree, then add to a soup for more body.

The Soup Itself
A great trick to thickening a soup while intensifying flavor is to use parts of the soup itself as the thickener. Simply remove some of the soup solids--the aromatics, starches, even the meat--and puree. Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender for this task. Puree with care if using a blender--the hot soup solids can actually spin out of the blender while blending and burn the skin quite badly. Use the blender's lid, held down with a thick towel, and keep the lid on for several seconds after the blender is turned off. Don’t over-fill.

*Other things to use: Potato flakes, ground GF dry oats pureed, grated carrots, pureed white beans, brown or white rice flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cook down some okra puree and add to soup, pureed cooked artichoke with oil for clear broth, dried milk of choice for cream soups, sweet potatoes pureed, a little guar gum or xanthum gum,  tapioca flour, and creme of coconut or regular cream.

Source: All Recipes/Adapted

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