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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Come Make a Pot of Soup With Me

My last Frugal Kitchens 101 of 2009 focused on making homemade soups, stews, chowders and gumbos. Given the nature and writing style I use for my Frugal Kitchens 101 posts there were no pictures as to any methods. The reason for this is these posts are meant to be informative without any visuals. However sometimes visuals are needed for certain methods so I decided to ask you to come make a pot of soup with me. That way you can see how I do thing and where you can make changes so you too can make yummy, budget stretching soups at home that are sure to please.

removing meat from stock and bonesMeat

I started with 2 beef soup bones, 1 parsnip, 1 large carrot, one rib of celery, ¼ Spanish onion with skin, bay leaf and enough water to fill the pressure cooker ⅔ full. [I'm sorry I forgot to take pictures of this.] I put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to pressure then let cook at pressure for 25 - 30 minutes and let the pressure cooker depressurize. I remove the soup bones with tongs and pull the meat from the bone (1). The meat will basically shred without having to cut at this point. The stock with the vegetables remains (2).

While I'm on the subject of stocks you always use the mire poix (onion, celery, carrot). Do not peel the carrot or onion, simply wash and use as is for colour, flavour and extra nutrients. A parsnip adds a wonderful depth to the stock but it is a deep, mellow almost sweet note but not a distinct flavour that says this is parsnip. Pressure cooking is the ultimate way to make stock because it greatly reduces the cooking time.

straining and defatting stockStock

I pour the stock with cooked vegetables through a fine mesh strainer (3). The resulting stock (4) shows signs of fat on top. While this does not have to be removed I prefer to chill the stock in the refrigerator for defatting. When the stock is well chilled the fat turns and opague white (5). It is a solid so is easily removed from the stock. This will seem like a lot of effort to some but if you consider it takes about 5 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cook time, 10 minutes depressurizing and perhaps an hour or so in the fridge for defatting it really doesn't take that much time from raw to a rich, flavourful, defatted stock (6) and meat for the soup (3).

ingredients to make the soupIngredients

Oh my now this is where I start having a lot of fun. Pictured are most of the ingredients I used (7). Soup needs seasoning and since I was making a beef soup I used Montréal Steak Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, Grace's browning. Next I had to decide on the starch and/or protein. I could have used potatoes, pasta, beans, legumes or grains. I used pearl barley which just goes so niecely with beef. Just about any vegetable is fair game when I make soups. I added celery, green onions, Spanish onion, carrot, tomato, sweet peas, corn and mushrooms to this soup.

I add the ingredients in the order that they cook with longest cooking added first. I added the Spanish onion, seasonings and barley first (8) then cooked until the barley was tender. I also added 2 - 500 ml jars of de-fatted beef broth to the ingredients because it looked like I would need it. Barley tends to thicken and cloud the liquid when it cooks (9) which really isn't a problem. If you want clearer stock when using barley then you have to cook the barley separately and stir it in when the soup is finished cooking. Once the barley was cooked I stirred in the remaining vegetables starting with the mushrooms and ending with the tomatoes and green onions added in the last 5 minutes of cooking (10)

Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup

The best part of making a homemade soup from scratch is the ultimate reward - rich, flavourful, nutritious soup. The tantalizing aroma fills the house as layers of flavour are added during the cooking process. There really is nothing more comforting than a bowl of steaming homemade soup on a cold winter evening!

This particular soup was loaded with vegetables that provide not only nutrition but eye appeal. It really ended up being a rustic, hearty soup! Nice bright, cheery colours are so pleasant when the day has been dull, grey and snowy.

See how easy it is to make a soup from scratch? Once you have chosen what meat to use the seasonings and other ingredients fall into place. The reward is a wonderful homemade soup sure to please anyone. Aren't you glad you stopped long enough to make a pot of soup with me?

2 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

just that easy... Excellent tutorial

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Dave. As tutorials go this one wasn't all that great and believe me I've seen better. I do think though that it shows that making homemade soup is not a difficult or even time consuming process.