To make a basic thick soup you will need:
4 - 6 litres stock, including the meat from the bones
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 cups soup mix - a mixture of lentils and beans
1. Bring the stock to a rolling boil in a large stockpot.
2. Add the vegetables and the soup mix and stir.
3. Turn the heat down until the liquid is at a rolling simmer. This is important because unless you want to stand and stir constantly for hours, you need the vegetables and soup mix to keep rolling around in the pot. If they settle they will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, ruining the soup.
You can add any other vegetables you like to your soup pot. Potato makes a good addition, bulking out the meal and acting as a thickener when soup mix is scarce. You can also add tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage - you are limited only by your imagination and the contents of your fridge.
To make your own soup recipe follow this outline:
1. Start with a stock (choose one)- chicken, beef or lamb.
2. Add a protein (choose one) - meat, chicken, lamb, ham or bacon bones
3. Choose a thickener (choose one, measure 2 cups) - soup mix, beans, lentils, macaroni, pasta twirls, broken spaghetti, rice or barley
4. Throw in the vegetables (as many as you like, about 4 cups) - onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, cabbage, capsicums, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip, turnip, swede, squash, pumpkin, green beans, peas,
5. Season to taste* - salt, pepper, bouquet garni, thyme, parsley, chives, coriander
Bring the stock to the boil in a large stockpot. Add the other ingredients of your choice and simmer for at least 1 hour.
*It is better to under season and add more at the table than it is to over-season and have a soup that is too salty or too spicy. If you do over-salt the soup, add two potatoes, peeled and halved, about 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. The potato will absorb some of the salt.