food art painting of cabbage for soups and chili recipes siteSlow cooking creation of the stock used in soups is a most important step in
your soup making process. In fact, soup and stock may be regarded, in many
instances, as one and the same. It is important to keep in mind that whenever
reference is made to production of soups, stock making is normally involved.
Although your making of stock for soups is a simple process, it must necessarily
be a rather long one. All the flavors cannot be drawn out from soup ingredients unless you slow cook them at a temperature less than the boiling point.

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    For the soup-making processes to be more readily grasped, it helps
to be thoroughly familiar with what is meant by soup stock. A stock of
anything denotes a reserve supply of that thing stored away for future
use. When applied to soups, stock is similar in this meaning since it
refers to foodstuff you've stored or prepared in a way enabling you to
keep it for use in the making of certain kinds of soups. You can think
of your soup-stock as a valuable liquid containing nutritious juices,
and soluble parts of meat, bone or vegetables you've extracted by long,
slow cooking.

    Soups in which you can use stock include all the varieties made from
beef, veal, mutton and poultry. If you desire clear stock for creation
of soups, only fresh meat and bones should be used and all material which
would discolor the liquid in any way, carefully avoided. For ordinary,
unclarified soups, the trimmings and bones of roast, steak or chops and
the carcass of chickens, ducks, etc. can generally be utilized. However,
you'll want to use sparingly very strongly flavored meat such as mutton
or the fat from mutton.


    Several kinds of stock can be utilized in the making of your soups,
and the kind to employ depends upon the soup you desire. The following
classification can be a guide for you in determining the kind of stock
required for the foundation of your soups.

FIRST STOCK is made from meat and bones and then clarified... you'll use
it for well-flavored, clear soups.

SECOND STOCK is made from the meat and the bones remaining after you
strain-off the first stock. You'll add more water to the remaining
material, and then cook vegetables in it, supplying your soups with
special flavor. Such stock serves you very well for adding flavor to
many nutritious soups you'll make from vegetables or cereal foods.

WHITE STOCK is used in preparation of white soups and you can make it
by boiling six pounds of a knuckle of veal cut up in small pieces,
plus poultry trimmings.

HOUSEHOLD STOCK is made by cooking meat and bones, either fresh or cooked,
with vegetables or other material that will impart flavor and add nutritive
value. Stock of this kind you'll normally use for ordinary soups.

BONE STOCK you'll make from the bones of meat only, adding vegetables for
flavor. Like your household stock, use it in your creation of many of the
ordinary soups.

VEGETABLE STOCK you make from either dried or fresh vegetables or both. And
naturally, you'll normally use this stock in the making of vegetable soups.

FISH STOCK is made from fish, or fish trimmings, to which you add vegetables
for flavor. You'll find shell fish make especially good stock of this kind,
and normally you will use fish stock in preparing chowders and fish soups.

GAME STOCK is made from the bones and trimmings of game to which vegetables
are added for flavor. Of course, you'll use it for making game soups.


    It is the flavoring of stock that indicates real skill in soup making.
This is an extremely important part of the work. In fact, the large number
of ingredients found in soup recipes are, as a rule, the various flavorings
which give the distinctive flavor and individuality to a soup. Very often
you may omit certain spices or certain flavoring without any appreciable
difference, or you'll discover you can substitute something 'on hand' for
an ingredient which is 'lacking'.

    The flavorings you'll use most for your soups include peppercorns, red,
black and white pepper, paprika, bay leaf, sage, marjoram, thyme, summer
savory, tarragon, celery seed, fennel, mint, cloves, and rosemary. While all
of these are not absolutely necessary, the majority of them may well be kept
on the pantry shelf. A small amount of lemon peel often improves soup, so
you'll also want to keep some of this in store.

    Another group of vegetables that lend themselves admirably to flavoring
of your soups includes leeks, shallots, chives, garlic and onions, all of
which belong to the same family. You'll want to be careful, and use them
judiciously because of their strong flavor.

    In the use of any of the flavorings mentioned or the strongly flavored
vegetables, care should be taken not to allow any one particular flavor to
predominate. Each should be used in such quantity that it would blend well
with the others. A very good way in which to fix spices and herbs that are
to flavor soups is to tie them in a small piece of cheesecloth, and drop
the bag you make of them into the soup pot.

    When prepared in this way, they'll remain together, so that, while the
flavor can be cooked out, you can more readily remove them from the liquid
than if you allow them to spread through the contents of the pot. Add salt
in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful to each quart of liquid.


    Although you'll be using your soups' stock mainly as a foundation for
certain varieties of soup, it may also be used in many other ways. You'll
find it especially valuable in the use of leftover foods. You can make any
bits of leftover meat or fowl into an appetizing dish by adding thickened
stock to them, and simply serving the combination over toast or rice.

    In fact, a large variety of economical dishes can be devised when you
have stock for soups on hand to add for flavor. The convenience of your
stock supply will be apparent when you consider gravy or sauce for almost
any purpose can be made from the contents of your stockpot. This is a very
good way to stretch your food budget, and yet keep your family happy with
interesting, very flavorful, meals.

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