While winter might technically be over, I wouldn’t rely on the weather being perfect. As I write this, the windows have fogged up and everything more than 100m away has disappeared into the fog. I’d love to tell you how cold it feels, but I have no intention of leaving the house if I don’t have to.
With that in mind, soups are perfect as early spring dishes. They aren’t as heavy as stews but they’re just as warming and perfect after walking home in the cold.
Below is a flow chart of how to make any type of soup you want. Every time I want soup, this is my approach.
Note 1: The flavourings you choose can be anything that matches the ingredients you have available. For inspiration, type the following into your search engine: [ingredient you want to use] soup recipe.
Note 2: If you are desperate, water will work, but your soup won’t be very impressive. A much better option is vegetable or chicken stock. Powdered stock is generally fine.
Note 3: Garnishes are completely optional, and I generally only use them if I have something convenient in the fridge. However, a lot of soups do taste a lot better if you stir in yoghurt, cream or even some strongly flavoured cheese.
For tomato soup:
Your flavourings are a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and some generic Italian herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley).
Your liquid is half tinned tomatoes and half chicken stock. To make the tomatoes less acidic, add about a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
You will need to puree the soup.
Garnishes probably won’t be necessary, but you could use chopped fried bacon, yoghurt or Parmesan cheese.