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Add Flavor to Homemade Soups

Add Flavor to Homemade Soups

Soup is my absolute favorite meal during winter. It’s so fun to throw what I have on hand into a big pot and experiment with flavor combinations. I always keep my pantry stocked with different kinds of rice and dried beans for soups, and I always keep frozen containers of stock in my freezer.

If you also love making homemade soup, try some of the following tried-and-true techniques for adding depth and boosting flavor:

1. Add grated or puréed potato, squash, zucchini, onion or garlic early in the process; they’ll eventually dissolve.

2. Pop in an herb-infused ice cube. (Blend fresh herbs with oil and a little water, and keep frozen in ice cube trays.)

3. Add a hefty dollop of tomato paste, honey, molasses, nut butter, pesto, miso or nutritional yeast (the base of many bouillon cubes).

4. Spice up soups based on tomatoes, beans or cream with dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin or chili powder.

5. Add complexity with red or white wine, cognac, brandy, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice or vinegar.

For many more tips, plus recipes for Basic Vegetable Stock, Tomato Tortilla Soup and Garden Minestrone Soup, see Warming Winter Soups.

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
9:29PM PST on Feb 12, 2013


1:33AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

MMm, sounds yummy! Have bookmarked it

10:43PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Yeah, soup is the taste of winter, isn't it? Thanks for this.

12:03PM PST on Feb 7, 2013


5:29PM PST on Feb 2, 2013


9:34AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

I never thow away any vegetable unless it is really rotten.When my well washed salad is wilted, I make a delicious salad soup and just add some water cress and a potato..Yum..Just add a tea spoon full of Creme Fraiche and voila! Bon appetit!

6:41PM PST on Feb 1, 2013

We make soup at least twice a week in the winter, healthy and way better than the kinds you buy :)

1:08AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

Thank you :)

7:24AM PST on Dec 24, 2012

Thanks for the info.

12:43PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Glad to say, soup-making is having a come back. People had been thinking it was too much trouble, but have now found it is easy and oh so good. Thanks for the tips.

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people are talking

Sounds good, I'll make this for sure! I love mint in everything!

TY for sharing :) :)

Thanks, always hated this time of year as a kid. It's important children's mental & physical wel…

Thanks for posting !


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