Soup is one of the most versatile dishes in any cuisine. Soups can serve as a main dish when they are hearty and filled with meats and vegetables. Or, they can serve as an appetiser or first course when they are rich and satisfying. They can be elegant, or they can be homey, ethnic or traditional, but they belong in every kitchen sooner or later.
Rich flavour-full soups feature strongly on the menu in South Africa. Vegetable consommés are often served as a first course, while chunky stewlike soups, and thick purées, served with bread, makes a satisfying and nutritious one-dish meal.
Originally, soup was basic sustenance, a pot of warming nourishment that brought the family together. Soup was a meal in itself, with a generous chunk of bread it revived many a flagging body and spirit. Soups can be divided into several categories, consommés and clear soups; cream soups, usually made with softened vegetables as the base; fish soups; nutritious pulse soups made from dried beans, peas or lentils; quick soups that take only minutes to prepare; hearty soups which are often serves as a complete meal; and chilled soups, refreshing to serve on a hot summer's day.
Handy Tips for Soup Recipes
Not all soups are made with stock, however it's good to have stock either in the refrigerator or the freezer ready to turn into soup with freshly-cooked vegetables. Try not to use stock cubes as they tend to be very salty and are inclined to give soups a 'sameness'.
Don't boil soup too much. It will lose colour and flavour if overcooked.
You can use cheaper cuts of meat, because simmering them for several hours helps make the meat tender.
You can thicken a chunky soup without using flour and butter or eggs by puréeing a portion of the soup and stirring it back into the pot.
Use a handheld stick blender to blend soups to a creamy consistency without adding a lot of milk or cream.
Make a double batch of your family's favourite soup recipe and freeze one batch for a quick meal when you're running low on time.
Don't add pastas too early; they will overcook and become mushy.
Whether you want to make a soup that is a meal in itself, a first course for a family meal or a luxury one for a dinner party, eJozi's RecipeBook has an outstanding collection of soup recipes to meet all of your dining needs.