SOUP!!! It's the perfect easy dinner idea on those cold days! Plus it's #ShelfCooking friendly since you can easily make soup from scratch using what you've got on your shelves! Ready, set, build your own soup!
There's nothing like a nice steaming bowl of soup on a cold day. It warms you from the inside out and often makes you think back to the good ol' days when you were a kid and your mom would make you your favorite soup to eat when you were sick. Guess what!?! You don't have to be sick or a kid to enjoy a hearty bowl of soup!
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Rather than grabbing a can out of the pantry, or running to the store because you don't have said can, try building your own soup! It's much easier than you might think! We've got some great tips on how to make soup from scratch. You'll use whatever ingredients that you have on hand in your pantry, fridge and freezer and shelf cook the best soup that you've ever had! So are you ready to get to it?!
HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS SOUP FROM SCRATCH
Keep in mind that the longer you allow your soup to simmer, the better it will taste! You at least have to give it enough time for everything to cook all the way through, but feel free to let it simmer for as long as you can.
There are a few basic ingredients that you need to make soup from scratch. Start with those ingredients and then get creative! Try out different flavor combinations to see which ones your family likes the best. If you have a lot of people to feed, then feel free to double or triple the amounts. Add it to a pot big enough to hold all of your soup, such as a stockpot, and get to cooking!
Pro-Tip: Soup is almost ALWAYS better the next day, so it's a perfect meal to double for two or more meals.
To make soup from scratch, you want to start off by cooking your protein. Soup doesn't get hot enough for long enough to cook your meat, so you need to make sure that it's cooked beforehand. Bonus points if you're using leftover meat and turning it into a new meal! Here are some options for you to try:
Homemade soup is the perfect way to use up those random single fillets of fish or leftover ham from the holidays. You don't need a lot for it to go a long way. Shoot for 16 ounces of meat, but really, just use what you've got!
Not a meat-lover? No problem! Skip the meat and go vegetarian!
Shoot for at least 3 different vegetables for your soup, but feel free to add more if you have them and need to use 'em! (Or only use 1 or 2 if that's all that you have!) Just try to keep in mind what they taste like so that you don't end up pairing 2 totally different veggies together and throw your taste buds for a loop.
Try throwing some of these veggies in:
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
Try out some of these pairings if you're not sure where to begin:
- Potatoes and corn
- Broccoli, onion, carrots, and cauliflower
- Carrots, squash, and zucchini
- Tomatoes, corn, onion, and peppers
- Kale, onion, and celery
If it's a veggie that will take longer to cook, saute it in butter or a cooking oil until it's at your preferred texture. However, if it's a veggie that won't take as long to cook, such as spinach, then only saute it for a few minutes until it's done cooking. If you're going for a pureed soup texture, then make sure that you fully cook those veggies (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash) before blending.
Obviously, your soup needs the soup-y portion. You can achieve this from a number of different ingredients, such as:
- Beef Broth/Stock/Bouillon (plus water)
- Chicken Broth/Stock/Bouillon (plus water)
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Tomato Puree
- Vegetable Broth/Stock/Bouillon (plus water)
Feel free to mix and match your liquids to try out different flavor combinations. The heavy whipping cream will make your soup from scratch end up creamy (and dreamy). Shoot for 1 quart total of your liquid.
Adding grains to your soup will really help to stretch it even further, especially if you've got hungry teenagers or are trying to feed a crowd. If you're trying to be healthier, feel free to use whole grains in your homemade soup, or just use whatever you have, such as:
- Egg Noodles
Aim for using 2 cups of grains. You'll need to allow your soup long enough to cook the grains, so make sure that you account for that time when you're cooking it.
Pro-Tip: If you double your soup, keep in mind that noodles, rice, and potatoes will continue to soak up the moisture of your soup in the fridge, so divide your soup before adding grains. Then you can add them fresh for your next meal if you don't like soggy noodles!
Want to know how to make soup from scratch taste amazing? It's by using seasonings, of course! Start by using salt and pepper, and then add in other seasonings that match the flavor profile, such as:
- Bay Leaves
- Garlic Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Onion Powder
As you're adding your seasonings in, don't forget to taste the soup as you go along! That way you know exactly what it needs. It'll keep you from going overboard on your spices, as well as making sure that it's got enough of them.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
As mentioned above, soup always makes great leftovers! Seriously, how does it get better the next day?! If you know that you'll eat it within a few days of cooking, then put it in an airtight container as soon as you're done eating your dinner.
Most soups also freeze very well! So if you doubled the recipe or just have lots of leftovers, freeze it for a quick and easy meal the next time that you have a hankering for soup. You can freeze it in a soup container or a freezer baggie, either will work! Just make sure that you get all of the air out of it to prevent freezer burn (get more info about that HERE).
So, now that you know how to make soup from scratch, what are you waiting for?! Get in that kitchen and get to it! Let us know what your favorite combinations are in the comments!
Looking for more shelf cooking ideas?
- If you need help keeping an inventory of what all food you have to use in your soup, then check out our kitchen inventory checklist!
- Need help getting control of your grocery budget? Then you've got to go get some great tips on how to set a grocery budget.
- If you need a quick and easy recipe to try out, then you've got to make our Italian and cream cheese chicken recipe!