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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mouthwatering Potato Soup Recipes - Discover Your Own With These 3 Tips!

Learning to make your own homemade potato soup recipes can be exciting, satisfying and very full-filling. When you create a soup (that everyone loves) for family or a friend and they ask where you got such a wonderful recipe, what would you rather tell them?
"I just got it from some website or cookbook..." OR would you rather tell them "I made the recipe up myself and it's the newest edition to my own cookbook!"
If these are the words of gratification that you want to hear, then here are 3 tips to help you create the delicious recipes that you desire.
Tip #1 - What Type of Base?
The base of a soup has the greatest effect over all others.
There are 3 main bases to start with that you can use for your potato soups, cream base, clear base, and puree based.
  • Creamy Bases - Creamy potato soups are usually smooth and comforting with a subtle taste. There are many ways to make a creamy potato soup but we are just going to go over 3 popular ways to get a creamy base.
    • Cream Base 1 - The easiest and most used is just by adding enough heavy cream until the desired consistency and tastes are met. Another similar method would be using milk but this would be a lot thinner and a lot less creamy.
    • Cream Base 2 - A bit more complicated but most likely not to difficult for you is using a light roux and milk. Just add 2 teaspoons of roux for every cup of milk to the soup, stir well, until the desired consistency is reached. Be careful, roux can make your soup extremely thick.
    • Cream Base 3 - The least used of the 3 but second easiest would be using cornstarch and powdered milk. Dissolve 1 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch to every 2 cups of soup broth you have in a small bowl of cold water. Add 5 tablespoons powdered milk to every 2 cups of soup broth you have and the cornstarch/water mixture to the soup at the end of cooking and stir well for 1 1/2 minutes.

  • Clear Base - A clear base, the easiest of the 3, normally has a rich and bold flavor with no extra additions like heavy cream to the stock, the base IS the stock.

  • Puree Base - A puree base is loaded with rich flavors and is exactly what it sounds like. All the solids are pureed with the stock of your choice after the soup is cooked. This is best achieved with an immersion blender which you can dip right into the soup and blend with. Another way would be to strain the solids out of your soup and add them to a blender then add a few cups of broth and puree. Then add the puree to the broth, mix well and voila!

Tip #2 - What Type of Stock / Broth?The best way to a great base is your stock and creating your own homemade stock can have an amazing effect on your soup. Though it's slightly time consuming, it is also very easy and rewarding.
3 basic stocks are used for potato soup recipes. Chicken stock, vegetable stock and beef stock.
  • Chicken Stock - Chicken stock is the second most popular stock used for potato soup and has a strong and very rich flavor adding a bit of bite to your soup. A basic chicken stock is usually made by slowly simmering chicken bones, skin, meat, celery, carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a pot of water.
  • Vegetable Stock - The most popular of the 3 stocks used in potato soup is vegetable stock. It has more of a natural and relaxed flavor compared to chicken stock. It is full of natural vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthy. A very basic vegetable stock is achieved by slowly simmering carrots, garlic, parsley, onion, celery, leek, bay leaf, mushroom, salt, pepper and sometimes parsnips, thyme and potatoes.
  • Beef Stock - Much different from the 2 above and often not used in potato soup, beef stock has a very rich and bold flavor and great in some soups with potatoes. Beef stock is made with beef bones, fat, meat, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme and sometimes tomato.

Tip #3 - What kind of ingredients do you want to use? Now that you know what kind of base texture and stock you want, we need to figure out the ingredients that go well with each. This is only a guideline to help you choose your ingredients.
  • Ingredients for a creamy base. - Bacon and cheddar are the most popular ingredients in creamy potato soups. Some other great ideas would be carrots, green beans, onions, garlic, celery, green onions, chives, chicken, ham, shallots, thyme, peas, dill, salt, black and white pepper. Good stocks with a creamy soup are vegetable and chicken stock.
  • Ingredients for a clear base - With beef stock would be tomatoes, green beans, onions, garlic, celery, parsley, chunks of beef, bay leaf, barley, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, ground beef, salt, mozzarella and black pepper. With vegetable or chicken stock would be chicken, ham, carrots, white beans, green beans, celery, garlic, thyme, squash, onion, zucchini, shallots, white wine, dill, salt and black pepper.
  • Ingredients for a puree base - Carrots and tomatoes are great for a puree based soup along with these healthy additions. Onion, garlic, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, kidney beans, shallots, celery, green onions, sweet potatoes, peas, dill, salt and various peppers. The most popular stock with puree based potato soup recipes is vegetable stock although chicken stock is used sometimes but rarely. There are many more tips for you to create a great potato soup recipe but these 3 are the most important basics to get you started.
Ken Tireman is a cooking enthusiast who takes special interest in soup recipes and tips to help others make delicious potato soup recipes [] along with a large list that's packed full of his own great soup recipes to warm you up for this winter at []


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