Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A pot of soup

When I first started cooking, I thought making soup is the easy thing in cooking. Just dump everything you want to cook into the pot, add water, turn on the fire and let it boil. What can be so difficult? Well, yes it is easy to cook a pot of soup but it may not be easy to make a pot of delicious soup.

My in-laws are Cantonese. Cantonese are famous for their soup. My hubby always say Soup is the most important 'dish' on the dinner table. So it was a challenge for me, especially when my mother is one of those who just throw everything in a pot, let it boil for half an hour, if she did cook.

This was what I learned through cookbooks on how to make a pot of good soup during my initial cooking journey ...
  1. Always blanch the meat before adding it to a fresh pot of water for brewing.
  2. If you are using fish or fish bones, briefly fry them first to remove any fishy smell.
  3. Only add the ingredients when the water is boiling.
  4. Reduce heat to simmering once the water boils again after adding ingredients.
  5. Avoid opening the lid of the brewing pot of soup unnecessary.
  6. Never add more water to the pot of soup unless you want to end up having bland soup.
  7. Add salt only at the end of the process, just before serving.
And to make sure everyone get to have a bowl of the delicious soup you brewed for hours, make sure you double the amount that each person drinks for the amount of water to add to brew soup. So if each of your family of 4 takes a bowl of soup each, then the amount of water needed to brew the soup will be 8 bowls. This equation is for long hours cooking, more than 3 hours.

The amount of time needed to brew soup varies for different type of soup, ranging from 1 to 5 hours. Basically, meat soup like chicken, beef soups, requires longer hours to fully bring out the flavour of the meat.

Leafy vegetables soup generally uses lesser time. Cooking too long will lose much of it nutrients too. So if I intend to cook a leafy vegetable soup, I would use broth instead of water, so the soup is both sweet and I won't over-cooked the veggie. Since the cooking time is cut short you won't have to follow the equation I mentioned above for the amount liquid need. Adding an extra 1 to 2 bowls should be enough. This is just my guide to make soup.

You will have your own style of making soup as you go along. How much water and time need to make your own pot of good soup is through your own experience. If you put your heart to make a pot of soup, it will always taste delicious!

Have a Wokking good time making soup!


  1. The sentence "If you put your heart to make a pot of soup, it will always taste delicious!" is so true. I cook soup for my family alot. Thank you very much for the tips!

  2. Thanks for the tip! Now I understand. :)

  3. i'm using the same way u are using for cooking soup...cantonese mah LOL

  4. Jazzmint,
    So you spend alot on gas (to brew soup for long hours)? hehe ... Now want to change also difficult. My son can tell the difference.

  5. Ahh thanks WokkingMum! (Fernzy)