I would love to share my recipes for homemade soup. If I had any. I used to make soup for my mother-in-law years ago. Her only complaint was that I could never produce a recipe for the different varieties.
I was just reminded of this dilemma when my daughter-in-law asked for the recipe for my last batch of homemade soup.
Since I was diagnosed with a sensitivity to wheat, I put much more emphasis on ensuring the ingredients I use for my soups (and any other cooking and baking) are completely natural and healthy. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are allowed in these recipes. This is also particularly important if you are sharing your soup with friends or family undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Tips for Making Great Homemade Soup
Most of my soups are meat-based, but you could make them to your specific dietary needs or preferences. Here are a few tips.
- store large bones from chicken and turkey dinners in ziplock bag in your freezer
- also store pan drippings and liquid from vegetables in the freezer. I use a plastic bucket for this purpose and just keep adding to the contents. Don’t be afraid to mix the different meats and vegetables , the mixture adds unique flavor to your soups. As soon as your contributions cool off, the fat will rise to the top and create a layer. You should scrape of this layer (it comes off easily) before you add another one.
- On soup making day, place the bones in a large pot, fill the pot with water and simmer for several hours.
- Add garlic cloves, a chuck of ginger root and or turmeric (the stuff curry powder comes from), bay leaves or any other seasonings large enough to remove easily. You can use powdered forms at a later stage if you don’t have the fresh stuff handy. I have also added broccoli stalks (frozen, stored in freezer like the broths) at this stage.
- After a few hours, remove the bones and seasonings, set aside to cool.
- Next add frozen chunks of broth you have stored in the freezer. You now have your base.
- When your bones have cooled, pick off any meat from them and add them to the pot. Crush any softened garlic, ginger, adding to the pot. Discard bay leaves if used. Puree or chop broccoli stalks if used. If you are using powdered spices like ginger, garlic, curry powder etc, add it now.
- This is the time to add rice, quinoa or barley for added nutrients and chunkiness.
- Add vegetables and or legumes. Cherry or grape tomatoes, beans, frozen corn are my favourites. When using beans, I do use canned, but the “no salt added” kind. I rinse them really well before adding to the soup.
- If you prefer creamy as opposed to chunky soups, you could puree everything at this stage.
- Add salt (I use pink Himalayan) and or pepper to taste.
- Add milk (I use almond milk) if your soup is too chunky or thick.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your variations. I prefer the hearty, chunky varieties with lots of ingredients, but others prefer simple broths. I also like lots of garlic and ginger but reduced these ingredients in my last batch so I could share some with my breastfeeding daughter-in-law.
If you like to record your recipes (and you might if you share your concoctions) write down what you have added. For some reason, I never think to do so.