Soup, My First Love

I was always told the most important meal in a restaurant is the soup.  After all it is one of the first courses a guest will try and let’s face it, ifyou can’t even make soup correctly, what makes you think the entrée would be any good?  Soup is hands down my favorite food to make and it definitely gives me the most gratification.  Soup takes passion, love and most of all patience.  The great thing is that once the soup is finished and you taste it for the first time with such enjoyment, there is usually a few gallon pot on the burner behind you that will allow you to savor that flavor for quiet some time.  There is however a few tips to help ensure you maximize the flavor in your soup.

I am a hearty soup guy so the more vegetables the better.  Try using a blend of 50 % onions, 25% celery and 25% carrots, also known as mirepoix.  This blend is really the foundation for all soups and stocks.  It will provide tons of flavor and most of all heartiness and body to your soup.  Let’s be clear though, just because you use this blend will not ensure it will taste better.  YOU MUST LEARN TO CARAMELIZE!  What this means is browning the vegetables on all sides to maximize the flavor.  Caramelizing brings out all the natural sugars that that food has to offer.  To caramelize correctly, grab a large pot with a vast amount of surface area, and pour a small amount of olive oil in it and place it on the burner on high heat.  As soon as the olive oil begins to smoke (375°) then it is time to pour in your veggies and begin caramelizing.  It’s cold out there so make soup now and make plenty of it!

Chef Billy Parisi

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