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Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #1
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Soup

I just made vegetable soup for the first time last night... it turned out alright, and was easy to make. Perhaps it's just the recipe I was using, but it wasn't much better than something I could have got out of a can, it cost considerably more to make (~$8 for the pot), and I had to wait an hour for it to cook. I dunno.... perhaps I'm missing something to the whole process, but why do people make their own soup? Is it because they have a fridge full of soup-compatible leftovers? Unfortunately my fridge contents aren't conducive to making soup.... Mongolian grill and Mexican leftovers probably don't make good soup.

Also, what's up with vegetable stock? I looked up a recipe on how to make it, and my god, that's a lot of work. I just used some boxes of stock...
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 09:44 AM   #2
 
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Re: Soup

I use to make vegetable soup in the winter. It took me about 3-4 hours. It probably cost me quite a bit, but It was so much better than anything in the can. Home made soups are wonderful!

I would start with a large roast with a bone on it. Cut the meat into small pieces and then make my own stock, cooking the bone for about 2 hours on low heat. Then adding the veggies and spices and cook for another 1-2 hours. Since it was a lot of work I would make a pot using a large turkey roaster and I'd have soup for a couple weeks. Yumm. I would have large chunks of quality roast beef, Mushrooms, corn, celery, carrots, potatoes with skin on, onions, and use cans of itailian stewed tomatoes for the broth.

Also I love oyster stew. Homemade using fresh oysters and butter and cream - compared to a can - well there is no comparison.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 09:49 AM   #3
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Re: Soup

Using the box/can stock will make it taste like it's no better than the stuff from a can. Part of the soup making is the cooking, like spagetti sauce, the smells simmering on the stove filling the house, the anticipation of having a big bowl when it's just right. I don't make "stock" but in the end the results are the same. I never understood the "stock" concept either because all those items are in my soup, I'm guessing that if someone cooked a lot they would have those things left over and could make stock to freeze, then they would be able to just whip up a soup anytime.

I love making chicken soup in the winter with fresh made bread or biscuts.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Soup

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Originally Posted by Outtahere
Using the box/can stock will make it taste like it's no better than the stuff from a can.*
This seems like a valid point. Perhaps that's where I went wrong, although buying everything to make stock would easily double the cost of the soup. I'll give it a try once I run out of this last batch.

Kohlrabi is next on my list of things to cook.... then endives, but only because they're so cute. Anyone know any good recipes for either one?
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: Soup

Yes, given the right recipe and ingredients I think you'll find an amazing difference between canned and "from-scratch." When I get home I'll post a chicken soup recipe that we got from Consumer Reports magazine. Super good.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Soup

When it comes to beans, is there a big difference in the final product when using canned beans instead of dry beans you left soaking overnight?
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Soup

I make an awesome soup but use stock from a box. The key is to save your turkey and chicken bones with some meat on them. Save a bunch of those and season the hell out of your stock with whatever you like. We like spicy things so Ill throw a few jalepenos in the stock loads of garlic etc etc. Use fresh herbs, wine whatever. Let it simmer for 3 to 4 hours, strain stock and get the meat which will have fell off the bones.

Then put it back into a pot. Throw in the vegetables you like and the meat. Let it cook for another hour or two. If you dont want to spend all the time doing this then use pressure cooker.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: Soup

Yes, Mwsinron.. the pressure cooker is a godsend!! And saves a LOT of electricity/natural gas. You can use the lowest of low heat and about 1/4 the time; if I let the pressure run out naturally after 20 minutes of the heat being off the insides are still boiling!

I have to make soup here because there are essentially no soups sold in cans where I live, nor broth, only a few Knorr soups in envelopes. I save up chicken bones and sometime vegetable trimmings like celery leaves in the freezer. When I have enough, it only takes about 20 minutes in the pressure cooker to make the stock which, if I don't need right away I strain and freeze. If it's something where the broth is the star (like tortellini in brodo) then I "splurge" for a stewing chicken that only costs $1-2..

I love to make bean- and grain-based soups in the winter. My favorite does take about 40 minutes including all the prep, etc. and when there's also a tomato base I often cheat with a broth powder.. the trick there is to use about 1/2 as much as you would think (like 1 cube => 2c. water) so the fake flavorings don't overwhelm. But I make a big batch and the ingredients are pretty cheap so it works out ok. When I was working, though, extended cooking was more of a weekend project, and I always had some Campbell's Chunky something or other in the cupboard.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Soup

I'm a vegetarian and have made my own veggie stock. Yes, you have to plan ahead to have all those scraps to make it! But, one compromise I've made that turns out really well is the dried veg stock they sell in bulk at Whole Foods. You use a tablespoon per gallon of water and its pretty good.

Also, canned beans are usually fine, just rinse them well first. Dried beans are cheaper and not hard to use, but time consuming.

I've got this great split pea soup recipe that I bet is only about $5 a pot, but that is for 10 servings or so. I LOVE it, and so does DH who is not a vegetarian.

Also, endive is good grilled (with some balsamic vinegar.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Soup

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Yes, Mwsinron.. the pressure cooker is a godsend!!* And saves a LOT of electricity/natural gas. You can use the lowest of low heat and about 1/4 the time; if I let the pressure run out naturally after 20 minutes of the heat being off the insides are still boiling!
I have a T-Fal Sensor brand stainless steel pressure cooker than I love. What a way to make stews and pot roasts! Although I am cooking for just one person, my 6 liter pot is just right.

Ha
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 01:23 PM   #11
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Re: Soup

I have a Kuhn Rikon.. expensive, but I can't recommend it highly enough. I need to go up from the 3.5lt to a 7 or 8 for stocks and soups. A lot of great recipes can be found here: http://www.kuhnrikon.com/recipes/index.html

One surprising thing that the pressure cooker does great is risotto. You get the creamy texture as though you'd been stirring it the whole time, but without the work! Check out the site and try it..


Quote:
When it comes to beans, is there a big difference in the final product when using canned beans instead of dry beans you left soaking overnight?
Marshac, beans are a big for me that I am still trying to figure out. After a lot of experiments I do still use dried beans; I have to since here there aren't black beans or kidney beans in cans. I've seen written in several places that it depends on the "freshness" of the dried bean, but how are you supposed to know how long they have been sitting on the grocer's shelf? In the US, you might have good luck at places that are geared toward organic stuff since they might have a higher stock turnover given the clientele.

The dried ones usually come out with a bit more "bite" (but sometimes to the point of being grainy and unpleasant). This can happen even if you cook them for 2x as long as recommended.. the "old" beans sometimes never soften up nicely. In theory, what you can do to help reduce this phenomenon is to add a tiny bit of baking soda to the bean cooking water, and NEVER cook the beans along with tomatoes until the final finishing stages.. an acidic environment makes the beans tougher. Others have suggested a bit of Kombu (sp? seaweed) but I have never tried that.

That said, canned beans are a perfectly good fallback and not expensive unless you are one of the 'superfrugal'. You also save a lot of cooking time if you don't have a pressure cooker to help things along. I put up a couple of my favorite quick bean recipes on a thread about quick cooking.

Split peas and lentils take a lot less time than beans and may not need soaking so that's worth checking out.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: Soup

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina

One surprising thing that the pressure cooker does great is risotto. You get the creamy texture as though you'd been stirring it the whole time, but without the work! Check out the site and try it..
That is great to hear! We love to make it, but it is SO time consuming - thanks for the info.
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 01:59 PM   #13
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Re: Soup

This is the recipe I have tried, and it comes out yummy:
http://www.kuhnrikon.com/recipes/recipe.php3?id=83
Haven't tried the others. Beware 'cause I just noted that another risotto recipe with a longer cooking time seems to be for another one of their products, which must cook differently.

And make sure, of course, to use the arborio rice, which releases its starch (the creamy part) but maintains a firm core unlike other varieties. But you knew, that.. right, shiny?

Buon appetito!
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 02:07 PM   #14
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Re: Soup

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina

And make sure, of course, to use the arborio rice, which releases its starch (the creamy part) but maintains a firm core unlike other varieties. But you knew, that.. right, shiny?
Yes, I do know, but I must confess - I learned it the hard way!
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 08:26 PM   #15
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Re: Soup

Believe me, I know my soup (if you doubt me, see my name). By far this is the best pre-packaged soup that I have found, and it is fairly healthy as well. Most soups have a ton of salt in them (just like any canned food), but these contain a more reasonable amount of sodium, and they are fairly low calorie as well. The fact that they're organice is icing on the cake. I pay about $3.50 for 32oz which is 3 servings, so the price isn't bad either. I will usually kick them up a notch by adding something extra to make a meal out of it, then simmering for 10 minutes on the stove (or microwave if I'm short on time):

- sauteed vegetables
- grilled chicken
- soy/teryaki sauce
- roasted garlic
- steamed broccoli
- beans with chili spices
- lentils and rice
- whatever else you can imagine

http://www.imaginefoods.com/index.php

A great balance of fast, easy, cheap, and healthy. (No I don't work for them, I just love these soups and wish more supermarkets would carry them, they can be hard to find).
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Re: Soup
Old 08-10-2006, 09:37 PM   #16
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Re: Soup

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan

http://www.imaginefoods.com/index.php

A great balance of fast, easy, cheap, and healthy. (No I don't work for them, I just love these soups and wish more supermarkets would carry them, they can be hard to find).
That really does look like good soup. You might have to change your name to soupbox!
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Re: Soup
Old 08-11-2006, 01:52 AM   #17
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Re: Soup

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
Believe me, I know my soup (if you doubt me, see my name). By far this is the best pre-packaged soup that I have found, and it is fairly healthy as well. Most soups have a ton of salt in them (just like any canned food), but these contain a more reasonable amount of sodium, and they are fairly low calorie as well.

http://www.imaginefoods.com/index.php

A great balance of fast, easy, cheap, and healthy. (No I don't work for them, I just love these soups and wish more supermarkets would carry them, they can be hard to find).
Trader Joe's has a house brand soup line that looks a lot like these. I just looked at a box of Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper soup that's in the frig. The info on nutrition looks similar to the imagine foods soups although the TJ version does not claim to be organic.
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