welcome + tips for 10 minute simple soups
video + transcript


Welcome to the first Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School Class for 2010!

For those of you who are new, the transcript below is pretty much exactly the same as the video. Some people like to learn by watching, others by reading so this way everyone is happy!

an ode to soup

I’ve always been a big fan of soup. From my Mum’s veggie soup that she used to make a massive pot of and freeze, to my very first laksa (Malaysian noodle soup), I’ve been hooked.

Soup is comfort food. Soup is nurturing. Soup is healthy. Soup is pretty damn versatile: it can warm us up when we’re in the depths of Winter and it can cool us down when we’re sweating in the back streets of Bangkok. Soup isn’t just for Winter. Soup can require lots of effort. Soup can be quick. But most of all Soup is good for the soul.

the problem with soup

The only problem I have with soup is that I tend to think of it as a bit of a ‘project’, requiring a few hours of gentle simmering after a serious session of chopping and vegetable prep.

This means I rarely even think to cook soup when I’m trying to figure what to have for dinner on a random Tuesday night.

But when I was writing 5 ingredients 10 minutes last year, and had a whole chapter called ‘soup’ to fill up with 10 minute recipes, I quickly began to reconsider the whole ‘soup = time’ equation. And I’m really glad I did. Even though it’s Summer here in Australia at the moment, I’ve been finding myself turning to soup when I need a quick meal more and more.

the three secrets to amazing soup

have a plan
My worst soup experiences have been when I’ve just chucked lost of things in togther without an idea of what I wanted my soup to be like.

keep it simple
It’s always tempting to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Especially when you’re making a one pot soup.

use the best quality ingredients you can afford

8 tips for making soup quick

1. use precooked ingredients
Then all you’re really doing is combining, seasoning and heating. Too easy. Great examples are udon noodles or laksa noodles, canned lentils and beans, canned tomatoes.

2. choose quick cooking ingredients
We’re talking things like ground (minced) chicken, tofu and spinach.

3. save on prep with frozen veg – frozen peas don’t need shelling and frozen cauliflower doesn’t need chopping. And best of all frozen veg tend to be less expensive and retain more nutrients. Think of your freezer as an extension of your pantry.

4. cut things finely – or grate them
The smaller things are, the faster the heat can reach their middles and the quicker they cook. Take our carrot soup as an example.

5. skip the sweating onions
While I love the smell of onion cooking, it always takes longer than 5 minutes.

6. boil the kettle first
This saves HEAPS of time! As soon as you’re ready to cook dinner, fill up the kettle so you’ll have boiling water ready when you need it.

7. use 2 pans
Cooking in 2 pans definitely decreases time but there’s a cost with the whole washing up thing – the choice is yours!

8. invest in a stick blender
Even though I’m a minimalist and try to keep my kitchen utensils to a minumum, I LOVE my stick blender because it makes pureeing soups a cinch. So much better (and safer!) than the whole blender or food processor path. You don’t need to go out and buy one but if you like smooth soups, it might not be a bad idea.

a brief introduction to the soup recipes we’re going to learn in this masterclass

I’ve chosen a range of 10 minute simple soups. I’ve classed them into the following categories in my head.

video password: NA
Back to: 10 Minute Simple Soups Overview Page

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