The Hospitality Guru (cooking) Back to Basics: Prepare Soups

DEFINITION

A soup is a flavoured liquid, which can be derived from a variety of ingredients. It is eaten with a spoon. The liquid base for making soup is usually a stock. There are many varieties of soups. They can be think or thick, hot or cold, clear or stew like.

A soup is usually the first course on the menu. If this is the case, the soup will function as an appetiser. However, if an appetiser (cold entrée) and entrée are also served, the soup is served after the appetiser and before the entrée. Some soups are served as main courses, especially some rich national soups like Hungarian goulash soup and minestrone soup.

EQUIPMENT

In addition to standard kitchen equipment, extra equipment is also used in soup production, including:

  • Stock pots – to cook soups
  • Chinois – to strain soups
  • Filter paper – to strain clear soups
  • Mouli or food processor – to puree soups

INGREDIENTS

A wide variety of ingredients can be used in soup production. A soup is usually named after its principal (main) ingredient. For example, oxtail is the principal ingredient for oxtail soup. A soup should have the pronounced flavour of the principal ingredient. The other ingredients should be combined in such a way that they enhance the flavour of the main ingredient.

All ingredients including trimmings should be fresh and of good quality, because only good quality ingredients will give fresh, clean flavours. Poor quality ingredients like bruised vegetables or partly deteriorated products, may result in a poor flavour and aroma and in discoloration of the soup.

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