Nothing is better on a cold winter evening than a bowl of hot soup. It soothes your soul, warms your heart and is the ultimate comfort food. Soups’ distinct and intense flavors satisfy even the hungriest of audiences. Learn how to improve the flavor of your soups with these helpful tips and suggestions.
Clam Chowder, Maine Style
Cream of Chicken Soup Supreme
Asparagus and Sesame Chicken Soup
Everyone loves a steaming bowl of chicken soup. It has been touted as the cure for the common cold and fills you with natural goodness. Impress your company with the most flavorful chicken soup with these tips and hints.
1. The first step to a successful chicken soup is a rich and flavorful chicken stock. It’s not only simple and cheap to make, but also smells delicious. The key to a flavorful chicken stock is the proportion of chicken bones to vegetables (such as onions, carrots and celery) and herbs (usually parsley, sage, thyme and bay leaf). For best results, the vegetables and herbs should not comprise more than 20% of total weight of chicken bones.
2. Use dark meat to make a truly flavorful chicken soup. If you are using chicken parts, don’t use all white meat, as dark meat has more flavor than white meat.
3. Use a tall stockpot and add only enough water to cover the bones. If the liquid gests low, simply add hot water to keep bones covered all the time.
4. Skim the entire time. To achieve a clearer broth, remove the film of concealed fat off the top of the soup as it is cooking. Skim the fat before adding the vegetables and herbs. For an even clearer broth, sift through a strainer or cheesecloth.
5. Simmer the soup very gently. Don’t stir things up and don’t let your stock broil or your meat will become tough and the broth cloudy.
A hearty clam chowder is quite easy to make, yet so delicious and flavorful. While there are countless varieties of clam chowder, New England clam chowder is the most famous of all chowders. Although recipes will vary according to individual taste and cooking style, all New England clam chowders include milk or cream, onions, potatoes, flour and either salt pork or bacon and, of course, clams.
1. Clam chowder is easy to make. Simply sauté the onions in butter or bacon grease until they are tender and translucent. Add the potatoes and move them back and forth until they are coated in the fat. Next add the flour and continue to move the ingredients back and forth until they are also coated in flour. The fat and flour together will create a roux, which will thicken the clam chowder and give the dish its distinctive taste. Add the bottled clam juice and cook until the potatoes are soft. Stir in the milk/cream and clams and cook until heated through.
2. Fresh clams are always best, but if you can’t get hold of them, you can use canned or frozen clams. Only add the clams right at the end to ensure that they don’t get too tough.
3. Use bottled clam juice, rather than the juice in the can or what you will get with the fresh clams. It has a better taste and will add extra flavor to your chowder.
4. Season the chowder with herbs and spices such as thyme, bay leaf, parsley and basil. This will add additional flavor to the clam chowder.
5. Chowders become more flavorsome and richer in texture after they are made. Allow the chowder to cure for at least an hour from the time it is cooked until it is served.
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