Soup doesn’t take long to make and inspires countless variations. Here are recipes for two different soups. With the onion soup, you can spend a cosy day tending to your soup. The pea soup, on the other hand, doesn’t take much more than 20 minutes to make. And it’s okay to use frozen peas. They say green is good for the eyes – but in this case it’s also great for the stomach.
A good soup generally starts with a good stock to which is added vegetables, meat, herbs and possibly some sort of starch, like rice, lentils or pasta.
If you don’t have a good homemade stock on hand, please don’t let that stop you. It’s okay to cheat a little. No one will care if the stock comes from a store-bought bouillon cube or concentrated stock in a bottle. Just remember that the flavour might need some adjusting.
The trick to a great soup is to remember to season with salt and pepper after it is done. Sometimes a soup is reduced quite a lot, so if you adjust the salt and pepper too soon, the soup becomes more concentrated when it boils down. This also means that your soup could end up too salty. If your soup (or other dish) has become too salty, you can save it by adding something sour, like lemon juice or vinegar, and something sweet, like sugar or honey.
Another wonderful thing about soup is that it invites you to have fun in the kitchen. There are no rules for what you can and can’t do. If you want to add a little creaminess to your soup, you can try adding a little cheese. For example, you can mix a bit of blue cheese into a pea soup along with the cream. A little leftover beetroot mash can be transformed into a lovely soup by adding some onions and a little stock. This is also an excellent way to save time, as you don’t have to cook the veggies until tender first. Make sure to mix the cheese in when the soup is done cooking. For a creamier soup, you can add a soft cheese, like cream cheese or white mould cheese. If you think the soup lacks depth in flavour, try adding a firmer aged cheese, like Emmental or Gouda. They’re full of umami and are ideal for adding depth.
Alternatively, you can grate cheese over the soup just before serving. Imagine grating a thick layer of matured cheddar over a lovely minestrone or tomato soup.
Finally, a piece of toasted bread with melted cheese also goes well with any type of soup.