Setting aside time for making a pot of soup is rewarding in so many ways. For one, it allows you to get by making several meals at once. It’s also an easy way to add more vegetables to your diet. Plus, your kitchen will be filled with the aromas of good things. And you can save money—a pot of soup is often a way to stretch ingredients out into several meals.
Click here to see the 10 Winter Soup Recipes (Slideshow)
Try these tips to stir up soup-making success:
Simmer time: Many soups are easy to assemble and don’t require a lot of “active” cooking time, but it is helpful to plan for the simmering time. Start a new routine by setting aside a couple of hours on the weekend to get a pot of soup going, or on a weeknight while you are making dinner, start a pot of soup, too. Think of the time you’ll save later during the week not having to worry about what to make for dinner — and the minimal kitchen clean-up from reheating soup!
Soup challenge: Set yourself a clean-out-the-pantry-and-fridge challenge. Look in your fridge and pantry and chances are you already have some soup ingredients on hand.
Put an egg on it: Or top with homemade croutons, toasted nuts or seeds, or a handful or shredded cheese. If you are the type who tires of leftovers, change up your bowl every time you serve it by pairing with condiments. Other tasty options are a squeeze of fresh citrus or handful of chopped herbs, crunchy roasted chickpeas, chopped ham or crumbled bacon. A fistful of shredded kale or collards, or baby spinach, will wilt quickly when stirred into steaming hot soup and the fresh greens will add new flavors, not to mention nutrients, to your bowl. A dollop of plain yogurt or ricotta whisked in, or a pinch of really good sea salt, will go a long way, too. Or try a splash of hot sauce, or a drizzle of best-quality olive oil.
Soup menu: If you’re not a fan of eating leftovers for lunch, portion soup into individual servings and freeze. Keep a freezer inventory — after a few weeks of soup making you’ll have a menu to choose from. Even if you aren’t a fan of leftovers, you can change each soup up by varying the condiments, and the convenience of having a pot of something easy for meals may win you over.
Check out a few of these soup recipes for soup-making inspiration.