Top 10 tips for making your own perfect soup

I LOVE soup and this is the perfect time of year to enjoy a hot steaming bowl of hearty of the stuff.

My soups are quick and easy, low calorie and can be frozen for those nights you don't feel like cooking.

Be aware that not all soups are low in fat. For example, takeaway Thai soups often use coconut cream and are high fat and huge in calories.

Avoid these and instead have the clear broth soups or cook any of my delicious soups from the books.

Here are 10 tips to making healthy and delicious homemade soups:

  1. Use any of your old lack luster vegetables and bones from chicken or ham to add delicious flavours and ensure you are not wasting good produce.
  2. Add kidney beans, lentils, barley or rice to bulk up soup and give the soup a thicker hearty feel.
  3. Use lean meat and skinless chicken to keep the fat count low in soups. To remove excess fat from soup skim off the fat that comes to the surface once it has cooled.
  4. To make a creamy soup add in evaporated milk right at the end of cooking. Be careful not to over boil the soup to avoid the canned milk separating. Most chefs will use cream for any soup that is titled "Cream of" so avoid at any cost.
  5. Use a good quality boiler as it will stop the base from scorching or burning. I always think it is a good idea not to go too far away when cooking soup so that you can give it a stir every now and then, especially if you have pasta, rice or potato as they can get stuck at the bottom.
  6. Use cooking spray instead of butter or oil when sautéing vegetables for your soup.
  7. Pumpkin is cheap right now, so use pumpkin as a base for soup or another great option is red sweet potato.
  8. Use low-salt stock powders as canned and packets soup mixes are really high in salt. You can get some low-salt soups which are much better choices when you want a quick bowl of soup.
  9. I love homemade soups, not only because they have more flavour but also because you know what is in them and you can avoid unnecessary preservatives and additives. Homemade is so much cheaper than the commercial soups and there is something really nurturing about serving homemade soup to family and friends.
  10. If you live on your own, don't worry. Make a pot of soup then divide into small containers and freeze. Great for taking to work for lunch as well. Label the containers so that you know what you have in your freezer and note that milky soups should be frozen for only 2-3 weeks, others up to 6 months.

Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-7 are sold in all good newsagencies. Visit Annette's website for more tips and recipes. You can also join Annette's page at Symply Too Good FACEBOOK.