Some soups are designed for quick assembly and serving. Others demand to be simmered slowly. Soup simmered over low heat for a period of several hours develops a full, rich flavor. You can cook soup not only on the stovetop, but also in a slow cooker. Try these tips for making great soup:
- Be sure to use the pot size called for in the recipe so that soup heats properly without having an annoying boilover.
- Slowly heat soups made with dairy products. If soups containing milk, cream, eggs or cheese come to a boil, ingredients may separate and curdle.
- If you need a quick soup base, try Progresso® Vegetable Classics soups. And for south-of-the border flavor, Old El Paso® refrigerated taco sauce and Old El Paso® chopped green chiles make perfect additions to soup recipes.
- Keep lumps from forming when thickening soup with flour and water. Here’s how: in a separate bowl, thoroughly beat flour into a small amount of cold water using a wire whisk. Whisk into the hot soup mixture.
- Want to thicken your soup without using a roux (fat and flour mixture) Stir dry mashed potatoes into the soup mixture. Or use a blender or food processor to puree some cooked vegetables in the soup with a little broth; stir back into the soup.
- To remove fat from the soup, refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Fat will rise to the surface and solidify. Skim fat with a spoon and discard.
Refrigerating & Reheating Soup
Soup is ideal for making ahead of time. Store soup in shallow containers for rapid cooling.
- Cover and refrigerate soups for up to 3 days.
- Soups made with fish or shellfish should be refrigerated no longer than 1 day.
- Heat broth-based soups over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot; or reheat in the microwave.
- Reheat thick purees or soups containing milk, cream, eggs or cheese over low heat, stirring frequently. Boiling may cause ingredients to separate.
- Thaw soups in the refrigerator and use promptly.
- Thick soups tend to become thicker during storage. Add a little broth, milk or half-and-half while reheating until the soup reaches the desired consistency
Soup freezes well, so you may want to double a soup recipe and freeze half of it. Freezing can affect the flavor and texture of some soups, so follow these guidelines to preserve flavor:
- Soups and broths can be kept frozen for 2 to 3 months.
- Allow 1/4- to 1/2-inch headspace for soup expansion in freezer containers as it freezes.
- Freeze broth in heavy plastic freezer containers, resealable freezer plastic bags or in ice-cube trays. Broth “cubes" can be transferred later to a heavy plastic freezer bag.