. Soup 101: Essential Tools for Soup Making Seriously Soupy

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soup 101: Essential Tools for Soup Making

The Ultimate Soup Pot - Le Creuset

By Joan Gioe, Contributing Writer to Seriously Soupy 

Soup is essentially liquid in a pot. In order to make it something special, the right equipment can do just that. 

The tools of the trade listed below will help transform your soup in to liquid gold.

1. A large heavy pot.
This is the most important and should not be skimped on. My personal favorite (in my opinion the Holy Grail of all things soupy) is from Le Creuset. It is the quintessential soup pot due to it's remarkably even iron heat conduction and silky smooth, completely non-reactive enamel. It comes in about a million hues and while you'll pay a pretty penny for it, you will not be sorry. It's soup's "little black dress." Also on my soup pot wish list: Calphalon's Unison Nonstick 4-Quart Pot
and the Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized Eco-Friendly Nonstick 8-Quart Pot.

2. A blender.
The necessity for your creamy soups or purées. Be it a stand alone or immersion/stick variety, without this gadget your Potato and Leek soup is nothing more than runny mashed potatoes.

Immersions are key to quick in-pot blends although cordless models tend to lack the oomph of the plug ins. Stand blenders are always a fail safe way to go. I recommend blending in two to three batches with a dish towel over the lid to avoid turning your kitchen into a Jackson Pollak.

3. A ladle.
How can you serve soup without a soup ladle?! Of course it's possible but it's just not right (and probably way too messy!).

Collection of soup bowls from Williams-Sonoma (Photo Credit: Trendir.com)
 4. The perfect soup bowl.
Tureen? Ceramic crock? Broth bowl? So many choices! So many soups!

In order to accentuate your soup's potential, the perfect bowl is a must. The style and design have as much to do with your soup as the taste itself. Like the saying goes, "We eat with our eyes first." The two most important thing to consider when scouring the aisles for the perfect presentation are as follows:

a. What kind of soup am I serving?
You don't want to serve lobster bisque in your collection of over-sized coffee mugs. Just like you wouldn't serve French onion in your Great Grandmother's fine china. Be creative, but also be realistic.

b. Decor.
Your soup bowls are an extension of your soup which is an extension of YOU. Keep with your dining room or kitchen theme. Your decor speaks volumes of who you are and can really be a window into what kind of soups you will feel most comfortable experimenting with.

A good spoon to is essential to enjoy soup
5. Spoons.
Perhaps this one is a little obvious, but no bowl of soup would be complete without a soup spoon. We love these RSVP Endurance Monty's Soup Spoons (Set of Six), the Steel Alpha Round Soup Spoons (Set of 12), and these Chinese Soup Spoons (box of 24). 

Joan Gioe is the mother of one amazing toddler and wife of one amazing husband. She credits him for getting her back on the writing horse. You can read her tribute to another time and place on her blog, Dear, Daughter in which she chronicles life events in the style of old fashion love letters to her 22 month old daughter. Joan's favorite soup is a good-old fashioned chicken.


  1. Great tips! Do you have an opinion about Staub v. Le Creuset?

  2. Sippity,
    I would recommend LC for your standard soups. Anything requiring a braise or sear first you'll want to work with a Staub.
    Hope it helps!

  3. A great post for the ever colder autumn season. Can we get a recipe for that Lobster Bisque you mentioned?

  4. Hi Jazz Rules,,

    It is definitely fall soup season! The lobster bisque was mentioned as an example, I haven't heard one yet...but it's on my list of soups to make. I'll keep you posted and stay warm!

  5. I love the Le Crueset soup pots! I am definitely ready for soup season :)