Soups and stews are not only consumed during the cold weather; they are also consumed year-round. In some cases, they may be made in under an hour, and you can make adjustments quite easily. Spices may be eliminated, changed, and even doubled. If the soup or stew is too thick, you can add additional stock or water. Also, if you are making a stew and find that you are out of carrots but have broccoli, go ahead and substitute! I won’t tell anyone.

Best of all, you may refrigerate a soup or stew for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months. Nothing is better than warm bread to help sop up the soup or stew, so be sure to serve it with your favorite naan, baguette, or focaccia!

Here are a few chef’s notes to help you make the best soup or stew possible.

If a recipe calls for:

  • Legumes (lentils, beans, and the like): You may elect to use dry rather than canned. In this case, after opening the package, spread the dry legumes on a cookie sheet or counter and remove any stones, sticks, or foreign objects. Then proceed with the recipe preparations.
  • Stock or broth: You may use store-bought stock, liquid stock, soup paste, or even bouillon cubes. However, make sure that the product is halal certified before you use it. You can also make your own stock or broth using the recipes in the “Soups & Stews” article in the Winter 2019 issue of Halal Consumer© Magazine.
  • Canned ingredients (tomatoes, beans, stock, vegetables): Try to purchase ingredients that are labeled “low sodium” or “no added salt.”

Lastly, I always recommend using a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, ceramic stockpot, or Dutch oven, as they hold the heat well and will not burn the ingredients at the bottom when at a simmer.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chilled Peach Soup

Egyptian Lentil Soup

Fisherman’s Stew

Minestrone Soup

Chef Demetrios Haralambatos is the Corporate Executive Chef of Kontos Foods Inc.