Soup is an everyday item on the Lithuanian table, but more often the arrows of criticism attack this dish. Soup fails because of its low nutritional value, when all the useful ingredients are simply pressed during cooking.
“Soup will not be a cheaper product if it is cooked according to the technological process,” said Nijolė Vasiliauskienė, head of the Department of Public Catering at Kaunas College. The lecturer does not give advice on how to cook the soup correctly and how to avoid common mistakes.
– The base of the soup is broth. How to cook properly? What are the most common mistakes that housewives make?
– Anyone who wants to learn to cook should learn simple cooking rules. First of all, the water used to cook the broth must be of high quality, without any unusual smell and taste. When boiling, the water boils, but you can’t boil it anymore, because the flavor of the broth will be spoiled. Let’s reheat the water immediately. Well, if you are unlucky and have no other choice, then at least use the one that is brewed separately – this way the cooking process will not stop.
Usually, the base of the broth is bone, meat or fish. It doesn’t matter that the bones are a cheap product, but they make an excellent decoction. Unfortunately, but today, when everyone is in a hurry, it is usually to cook soup. But after all, broth is the basic base!
– What additives can be used to flavor the broth? How to cut and use?
– Let’s use vegetables and colors – give a strong taste. In the traditional way, onions, onions, garlic, carrots, celery stalks are added. Some prefer celery and parsley root. Tomatoes, peppers, fennel, parsnips and mushrooms also go into the pot, especially if we make a vegetarian stew. There is no need to cut vegetables into microscopic pieces. For example, let’s cut the onion into two or four parts, and that will be enough.
If all products are added to water without heat treatment, light broth comes out. Want a darker shade? A more pronounced taste and aroma? Then fry dry in the oven, in a pan or on the grill. Bones or vegetables can be fried. Then it should be cut more coarsely than if we cook a light broth. Let it bake and wait until it gets a nice golden color.
If the soup is made from game bones, the broth is flavored with thyme, juniper berries, lemon juice, and wine.
– When is better to add salt to soup? Some put it at the beginning of cooking, others at the end. Which one is correct?
– If we salt the soup, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Salt has one property – it seems to help extract aromatic substances from products. I recommend salting the soup 10-15 minutes before. until it’s done cooking. If we add salt too early, the soup can come out too salty, the taste of salt will be more pronounced in the liquid part of the soup. If we add salt too late, the solids will be bland and the liquid will be salty again.
– How to cut and in order to add vegetables? Are there vegetables or other products that do not taste good, but spoil the soup?
– The shape of vegetables dictated by other products that we cook soup. If we cook with nuts, cut into cubes, with groats – into squares, with pasta – into sticks, and so on.
The product added to the boiling broth depends on the welding time and environmental reaction. Vegetables do not soften in an acidic environment. For example, grilled sauerkraut is added at the end of cooking soup.
Vegetables that are not prepared, cut, and added to the cooking soup at the wrong time can spoil the taste and consistency. Not all products are compatible with each other. For example, it is not suitable to add tomatoes to spinach and sorrel soup. The main tip for cooking vegetable soup is to start by stewing the vegetables on low heat.
– If the soup will be cooked with groats, is it necessary to wash? Should it be cooked together with the broth? Which company is best for soup?
– All grains, except manu and buckwheat, are washed, some are poured with boiling water. Pearls and pulses are soaked before cooking the soup, only lentils do not need to be soaked. If you want the right color or consistency, cook several grits separately. Here, for example, boiled pearl barley paint soup with a bluish shade, and cloud rice broth – it is not transparent.
– When are the spices added? Are dried spices less aromatic than fresh herbs?
– Fresh aromatic herbs are always preferred. Before adding the plants to the broth, it is better to tie them in a package and put the spices in a cloth bag. This will make it easier to remove after the broth has finished cooking.
When cooking soup, spices are added five minutes before the end of cooking. After boiling the soup for another 10-15 minutes. no need to rush to open the lid. During this time, the taste and aroma of the soup are formed and mature.
– Lithuanians traditionally add sour cream to soup. Doesn’t it spoil the taste of the soup?
– They say that there are as many people as there are feelings. Soup can be seasoned not only with sour cream, but also with cream, tomato sauce, butter, and green vegetables. It adds vitamins, minerals and essential oils to the dish. What you put into the soup is what you get out. If you add sour cream, it will have more fat. If you add more grains, it will have more carbohydrates.
– We eat toast and bread with soup. What are the current trends? What accessories are popular?
– Pure soup is popular in Lithuanian cuisine. They are seasoned with butter or cream, served with toast or small cakes with filling.
Other popular additions to other soups are: boiled and fried potatoes, various dumplings, dumplings, dumplings and toast with fillings, even omelets, fried dough cakes, eggs with “shirt” and so on.
– What type of soup best meets the requirements of a healthy lifestyle, which is low in calories and fat, but has a good taste?
– Clear soups based on broth made from poultry, beef or game are very popular in restaurants. This broth is rich in extractive substances that stimulate the release of gastric juice and increase appetite. The calorie content of the soup is not high and depends very much on the added products.
Don’t want greasy soup? You can just filter it through a cloth soaked in cold water, then some of the fat will remain.
– Can we serve soup to our guests as a main course? How to serve?
– Soup can be the main dish if we invite soup lovers. You just need to balance the portion. If only soup is eaten, add about 300-450 g. If you eat more, 200-250 g will be enough. If you want to leave an impression, it is recommended to serve hot dishes, including soup, on heated plates. It will not cool so quickly until we invite guests to the table.
Most people have beets on their plate
This October, Kaunas College researchers conducted a survey about soup, which involved 296 Kaunas residents or guests of various ages. Almost 88 percent of the people who participated in the study believe that eating soup is very healthy. About 7 percent of soup clogs because relatives insist on it. Only 3 percent of respondents disagree and think that soup is a cheap dish. About 38 percent eat soups once or twice a week, and the same number of respondents say that vegetable soup satisfies hunger four to five times a week or even more often. The number of people who do not eat soup is very small – only 6 percent. admitted to eating soup once a month or less.
Every three-time diner – from the age of 14 to 81 – is tormented by the conscience that he eats soup less often than he should. Up to 65 percent eat soup at least four times a week. population aged 50 and over.
The amount of soup eaten often has nothing to do with the season. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, but 60 percent of the survey participants eat with the same frequency.
Respondents unequivocally chose soup cooked at home – this was confirmed by 92 percent. of the participants in the survey. Of the 8 percent most of the respondents who, however, like to cook soup in public catering companies, they are people.
According to survey data, when preparing meals at home, we usually cook vegetable soups and cereals (almost 38%), and we often prepare pureed (16%). Interestingly, people who eat less often prefer milk soup (only 6%) or soup made from fruit (only 3%).
Among the most popular soups that are usually eaten in Lithuania, the interviewees prefer those made from beetroot. 20% said borscht was their favorite soup. respondents who participated in the survey. Second place goes to šaltiboršti (17 percent), and third place goes to thick hot pepper soup (16 percent).
Lithuanians consider mushroom, sauerkraut, cucumber soup or chicken broth (5-8%). A small part of the population will name fish as their favorite soup (3%). Only a few respondents mentioned other types of soup – pumpkin, bean, sorrel, and one named cereal filled with milk as a soup dish.
A little etiquette advice
Slices of cheese or bread served with onion soup should be ground with a spoon and knife.
When the soup is served with croutons or separate greens, it should be poured with a special spoon.
If the soup is served in a special soup container, after pouring it yourself, put the ladle back into the general container, on the opposite side.
When eating soup with a larger spoon, you should not put it in your mouth – lift it to the side of your mouth.
When the broth, the clear soup is served in a broth cup with small holes, the soup can not only be eaten with a spoon, but also drunk.
If the soup is hot, it is not appropriate to cool it by blowing, it is polite if you eat or only take half a spoon.
After eating, the spoon should not be left on the empty plate, but on the lower serving plate.
Source: German Soup Institute