Tips for Making the Best Soups & Stews + Tons of Recipes!

When the winter weather is chilling your bones, you need something to eat that will warm you up.  That’s why many people turn to soup and stew as their go-to winter dinners.   Instead of dining on canned soups all winter long, try making some homemade soups! We have some great tips to help you out after the jump.

Adding Nutrients

To pull the calcium out of chicken or turkey bones, add 1 ounce vinegar to each quart of water used (up to 4 ounces total) when you are making soup stock. It will not give a vinegary taste to the soup, but it will draw out all the nutrients in the bones.

Removing Fat
Remove fat from stews and soups by chilling them with plastic wrap covering the surface. The fat will harden and come off when you lift off the wrap.  In a hurry to skim the fat from the soup? An ice cube floated in the soup will help to congeal the fat and make it easier to remove.

Thickening  Soup
Use oatmeal to make your soup thicker. It will add flavor and richness to almost any soup.  You could also take some of the cooked vegetables out of the soup and puree in the blender. Then return to the original soup mixture.

Reheating Soup
Use a double boiler. The hot water in the bottom part of the boiler does the trick with no burned or boiled over soup.

Basic Soup-Making Tips
- Soups and stews should only simmer (never boil) when cooking.
- A leaf of lettuce dropped in a pot of soup absorb the grease from the top.
- Freeze the liquids from canned mushrooms or vegetables; use it in soups or stews later.
- To remove excessive salt from soup, drop in a sliced raw potato.

Now that you know how to make the very best homemade soups, all you need is some recipes! Here are a bunch of recipe collections that might interest you:
30 Soup Recipes from Around the Globe
Our 10 Top-Rated Soups of All Time!
11 Warming Winter Stews

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  • Jenny

    These are some great tips. Soups are such an affordable way to stretch the grocery dollar. I just made some white bean and collard green soup with cheesy Ciabatta bread the other day and it was so good and cost pennies to make.

  • Carey (cooknbooknbeadn)

    Great tips – i never thought about adding oatmeal, I may have to try that one. I have tried the potato hint to remove excess salt and it has never worked for me.

    I’d like to ad my hint – brown meat before adding to soup/stew to add extra flavor from browning.

    Off to tend the soup pot.

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