Chatelaine Kitchen

February is soup month at Chatelaine. Our tips for the best bowl ever

It's gonna be soup-er.

February can be bitterly cold, but we’re ready for the last full month of winter. Our big plan? A whole month of soup recipes to keep you cozy and warm — from the inside out. We’re handing out one a day, so check in with our main page — or our food newsletter — for the latest. Below, we’ve also gathered up 5 important tips — so you’re ready to tackle any bowl-ready recipe we throw at you.

1. Sweat the vegetables.
Onions, celery, garlic and carrots need time to soften and release their flavours. Don’t rush it; keep it on a medium heat.

2. Use homemade stock (when you can).
Any time you roast a chicken or turkey, you can use the bones to make a batch. Use beef bones (from the butcher) for beef broth, and with the right mix of vegetables, plus 45 minutes (give or take) you can make delicious homemade vegetable broth. It’s one of the best ways to add that extra boost of flavour to your soup. (Bonus: It freezes well, so you don’t have to do everything all at once.)

3. Don’t be afraid to go off book a little.
Craving soup, but don’t have the right ingredients for our recipes? All you need to make a good pot of soup is this basic formula: aromatics + flavour add-ins + base vegetable + liquid + garnish. Read more here.

4. Watch the salt.
Sodium levels in soup will vary depending on your choice of ingredients, so save additional seasoning for the end, adding salt and pepper to taste.

5. Don’t use cold dairy.
Cold milk or cream will curdle when added to hot soup. Be sure to warm them up first, and you’ll get the rich and creamy texture you’re looking for.

And our inaugural 28 Days of Soup recipe is…Tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

13 (more) tips for making the best-ever soup
How to make vegetable soup without a recipe
How to make the best soup stock