Very little is more comforting on a cold winter day than a mug or bowl of hot soup with some crusty bread to go with it. Equally, cold soup in the summer is a refreshing start to a meal.
There are many different types of soup, thick or thin, hot and cold, meat, fish or vegetable based. These days most sorts can be bought in the shops either tinned, dried in a packet or fresh in a carton. The first two are relatively cheap, vary in quality and taste and are often full of additives, and the last one is usually better but more expensive.
However, nothing really beats homemade soup and it is very quick to do and cheap to make and if you make a lot at one go it will do for more than one meal.
The basic structure of most simple soups is the same. Sweat some vegetables or meat in butter, add some stock or water, cook and season, then puree all or part of it and finish with a little cream if desired. At this point it can be reheated to serve immediately or cooled down completely and either refrigerated or frozen for another day.
While it is perfectly possible to make a nice tasting and nutritious soup with water or a stock cube (just taste first before adding extra salt) the best results will usually be obtained by using fresh stock – meat based or vegetable. This is not that difficult to do either.
Chicken stock is the most versatile and can be make any time you have a roast chicken and then frozen until needed. Other kinds of stock are made the same way.