Of all the low sodium recipes, low sodium soup recipes can be some of the most challenging recipes to prepare. Trying to make them flavorful and yet they still taste bland. You feel all they need is a little salt and everything would taste fine. Well, when cooking low sodium, adding salt is not an option. You must learn different cooking techniques and a few little tips to increase flavor. This is especially true when preparing soups.
Here are a few tips to help you add flavor to your soup recipes. These few tips will help take bland tasting soups and turn them into delicious, flavorful ones.
1. Use good, fresh, flavorful ingredients. Many make the mistake of taking old, or leftover ingredients, especially vegetables, to make soup. This approach might be all right when adding salt, as salt will pick-up their flavors, but when cooking without adding salt, you must use good fresh ingredients. These should be at their peak of flavor, usually not leftovers. The basic soup vegetables when starting soups are, onions, carrots, celery, sometimes green and/or red bell pepper, and garlic. Of course you can add other vegetables depending upon your soup recipe.
2. Soups need bones. Unless you are a vegetarian, (this is not an option), but for the rest of you this is important. You need a flavorful broth or stock. Soup bones are so key to making a flavorful broth. You will or should be cooking more at home on a low sodium diet, so you will probably be adding bones to your freezer for this purpose. If not, you can buy any meats with bones or meat parts that have more bones. You can buy a whole chicken and keep the non-meaty parts like the ribs or back for soups. Chicken wings make delicious soup stock. If you buy chicken breasts, or a turkey breast, make sure they are with their bones. Remember, that turkey carcass that was turned into to soup after Thanksgiving dinner? It was that bone that made the delicious soup. Beef shanks, or beef short ribs, make excellent beef stock. Ham hocks are not allowed on a low sodium diet because of their salt, but often you can find a fresh ham hock and add a drop of liquid smoke, or pork neck bones, or a pork shoulder, for a delicious soup stock. You also need fish bones for a good fish stock, even shrimp shells for a shrimp stock.
3. Use flavorful seasonings. Find good fresh, flavorful salt free seasonings. Learn about some of the different herbs and spices. Learn about different chilies (they range from mild to hot and are very flavorful), especially when added to some bean soups. Adding freshly ground black pepper (not from a can), to low sodium soup recipes, can really make a difference and increase flavor to any soup recipes. Seasonings are so important to making flavorful soup recipes. So many folks when cooking on a low sodium diet forget to use seasonings or enough seasoning to make a difference. Remember when cooking without salt you need to increase the seasoning.
As you practice and use these tips, your low sodium soup recipes will become more and more flavorful. Also, your taste buds will adjust and enjoy flavorful low sodium soups, instead of the salty soups of the past.
Remember to use good, flavorful ingredients, use bones, and most of all, use flavorful seasonings. Also, take your time and let good flavorful soups simmer a while, or use a crock pot, or a pressure cooker. Make plenty and enjoy delicious low sodium soups even more the next day. Also, put some in the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.
Just by using these few tips, you will enjoy more flavorful low sodium soup recipes.