What Is Use To Make Soup

Published: 28th April 2009
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The making of the stock that is used in soup is the most important of the soup-making processes; in fact, these two things--soup and stock--may be regarded, in many instances, as one and the same. The housewife will do well, therefore, to keep in mind that whenever reference is made to the making of soup usually stock making is also involved and meant. Before the actual soup-making processes are taken up, however, the nature of the ingredients required should be well understood; for this reason, suitable meats and vegetables, which are the principal ingredients in soups, are first discussed.

MEAT USED FOR SOUP MAKING.--With the exception of pork, almost every kind of meat, including beef, veal, mutton, lamb, game, and poultry, is used for soup making. Occasionally, ham is employed, but most other forms of pork are seldom used to any extent. When soup stock is made from these meats, they may be cooked separately, or, as a combination is often an improvement over a single variety, several kinds may be combined. For instance, mutton used alone makes a very strongly flavored soup, so that it is usually advisable to combine this kind of meat with another meat that has a less distinctive flavor. On the other hand, veal alone does not have sufficient flavor, so it must be combined with lamb, game, fowl, or some other well-flavored meat.

Certain cuts of meats are preferred to others in the making of soups, because of the difference in their texture. The tender cuts, which are the expensive ones, should not be used for soups, as they do not produce enough flavor. The tough cuts, which come from the muscles that the animal uses constantly and that therefore grow hard and tough, are usually cheaper, but they are more suitable, because they contain the material that makes the best soup. The pieces best adapted to soup making are the shins, the shanks, the lower part of the round, the neck, the flank, the shoulder, the tail, and the brisket. Although beef is obtained from the cow, the same cuts come from practically the same places in other animals. Stock made from one of these cuts will be improved if a small amount of the fat of the meat is cooked with it; but to avoid soup that is too greasy, any excess fat that remains after cooking should be carefully removed. The marrow of the shin bone is the best fat for soup making.

If soup is to be made from fish, a white variety should be selected. The head and trimmings may be utilized, but these alone are not sufficient, because soup requires some solid pieces of meat. The same is true of meat bones; they are valuable only when they are used with meat, an equal proportion of bone and meat being required for the best stock.

VEGETABLES USED FOR SOUP MAKING.--In soup making, the housewife has also a large number of vegetables from which to select, for any vegetable that has a decided flavor may be used. Among those from which soups can be made successfully are cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, corn, onions, turnips, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, beans, peas, lentils, salsify, potatoes, spinach, celery, mushrooms, okra, and even sweet potatoes. These vegetables are used for two purposes: to provide flavoring and to form part of the soup itself as well as to furnish flavor. When they are used simply for flavoring, they are cooked until their flavor is obtained and then removed from the stock. When they are to form part of the soup, as well as to impart flavor, they are left in the soup in small pieces or made into a puree and eaten with the soup.

Attention, too, must be given to the condition of the vegetables that are used in soup. The fresh vegetables that are used should be in perfect condition. They should have no decayed places that might taint or discolor the soups, and they should be as crisp and solid as possible. If they are somewhat withered or faded, they can be freshened by allowing them to stand in cold water for a short time. When dried vegetables are to be used for soup making, they should first be soaked well in cold water and then, before being added to the stock, either partly cooked or entirely cooked and made into a puree.

To read about how to cook brussel sprouts and mushroom tea, visit the Fruits And Vegetables site.

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