5 Easy Steps to Better Soup—No Recipe Required! (Page 5)

4. Simmer Your Soup

4. Simmer Your Soup

How you cook your soup is important. You’ll want to simmer your soup, not boil it. Boiling soup too rapidly can cause the vegetables to cook unevenly, while a gentle simmer cooks the vegetables at a steady, even pace. Simmering also allows more flavors to develop and deepen. So how long do you cook it for? It depends. Obviously, you want your meat cooked through and your vegetables tender—which should take 20 to 30 minutes. Use your palate to guide you: try a vegetable or cut into a piece of meat to see where you’re at before taking the pot off the heat. If you want quick-cooking grains like bulgur or quinoa, add them at the beginning of the simmer so they have time too cook through. If you’re using pasta, add it 10 minutes into cooking. Most pasta will take about 10 minutes to cook. And remember, grains and pasta expand, so you don’t need a lot—about 1/2 to 1 cup of each for 4 to 6 servings should be plenty.

Next: 5. Finish with Herbs »

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