Now that we're through relishing our salads, we will take one step back on our dining experience to quaff off the next item in our meal - the soup. Soups can be thick and hearty. It may be taken as a snack or served as a light lunch. In non-formal meals, it is usually served first but in formal dining set-ups, it follows the serving of an appetizer.
If you ask me, I think most soups usually look plain, and devoid of appeal, unlike salads or appetizers. But, simple as it is, soups can be made more seductive with the addition of greens as garnish. And talk about flavor -- that is already a given.
I believe soups can be called different names. My soup definitions aren't exactly technical but rather, how I understand the terms guided by my limited cooking experience.
Soups may be bisque because of it's creamy thick texture. It is made of veggie or fish purees. On the other hand it is called a bouillon if it is made out of boiling fish, meat and vegetable in a liquid. In so many ways a bouillon is very close to a broth; that which is the result of cooking fish, meat, poultry or vegetables in liquid as well. The difference, is the addition of a bouquet de garni or simply, aromatic herbs.
And how about chowder sound familiar? This is a thick soup usually of seafood, added with milk or cream, plus veggies. What about your Mom's stew? Is it also considered a variation of soup? I think it is. A stew is usually a concoction of large portions of meat or fish prepared by simmering a hodge podge of vegetables which oftentimes call the addition of a bouquet de garni. Bouquet de garni, as I mentioned earlier, are aromatic herbs, mainly a small bundle of herbs, wrapped together, added to cooking mixtures for flavor but removed before the dish is served.
And before I forget, I would like to mention my Mom's home-made chicken noodle soup. Served scaldingly hot, it was one of a kind soup.Not only because it's by my Mom but because I was asked to take it despite its boiling hot temp. It was truly one of the most effective flu detoxifiers of my younger age. To this day, it remains a comfort food for me, and my children when one of them goes under the weather.
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