Ways to Make Soup
Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot or boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth.
Traditionally, soups are classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purees are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with bechamel sauce; and veloutes are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grain.
Here are some tips when making soup.
Always use soft water for making soup, and be careful to proportion the quantity of water to that of the meat. Somewhat less than a quart of water to a pound of meat, is a good rule for common soups.
Soup should always be made entirely of fresh meat that has not been previously cooked. An exception to this rule may sometimes be made in favour of the remains of a piece of roast beef that has been very much under-done in roasting. This may be added to a good piece of raw meat.
Soup made of cold meat has always a vapid, disagreeable taste, very perceptible through all the seasoning, and which nothing indeed can disguise. The juices of the meat having been exhausted by the first cooking, the undue proportion of watery liquid renders it, for soup, indigestible and unwholesome, as well as unpalatable. Refrain from using cold meat for soups. Again, cold meat, even when perfectly good, and used in a large quantity, has no sufficient substance to flavour soup, or to render it wholesome.
Soup, however, that has been originally made of raw meat entirely, is frequently better the second day than the first; provided that it is re-boiled only for a very short time, and that no additional water is added to it. Unless it has been allowed to boil too hard, so as to exhaust the water, the soup-pot will not require replenishing. When it is found absolutely necessary to do so, the additional water must be boiling hot when poured in; if lukewarm or cold, it will entirely spoil the soup. Greasy soup is disgusting and unwholesome. The lean of meat is much better for soup than the fat. Long and slow boiling is necessary to extract the strength from the meat. If boiled fast over a large fire, the meat becomes hard and tough, and will not give out its juices.
Potatoes, if boiled in the soup, are thought by some to render it unwholesome, from the opinion that the water in which potatoes have been cooked is almost a poison. As potatoes are a part of every dinner, it is very easy to take a few out of the pot in which they have been boiled by themselves, and to cut them up and add them to the soup just before it goes to table. The cook should season the soup but very slightly with salt and pepper. If she puts in too much, it may spoil it for the taste of most of those that are to eat it; but if too little, it is easy to add more to your own plate.
The practice of thickening soup by stirring flour into it is not a good one, as it spoils both the appearance and the taste. If made with a sufficient quantity of good fresh meat, and not too much water, and if boiled long and slowly, it will have substance enough without flour.