Most people, when they think of homemade soup, they think it takes days or many hours or chicken stock, or any number of reasons why they can’t make soup. But, it ain’t true. You probably need at least two hours to turn out a flavorful soup, which means you throw it together in the morning, the house smells great and you have soup for lunch. As the economy constricts and takes your wallet with it, soup fills the bill just fine.
The basic rule of thumb is that you need about two hours for your vegetables to add flavor to the soup, after that the vegetables start to absorb flavor. If you are making a fish soup, make your stock and only add the fish at the end, once the fish is cooked and the clams have opened, your soup is ready. Pasta added to soup, like you do with a minestrone, will soak up lots of liquid so keep an eye on what’s going on in the pot or you could wind up with pasta stew instead of soup. If the soup is too thick, add some water, but add in small quantities until you get the desired consistency. It’s easier to add than it is to remove. If it tastes like it needs salt, add a bit of salt, and WAIT at least 10 minutes before you taste it again, you need to give the salt a chance to dissolve and disperse. Making soup is easy and satisfying, uses up odds and ends in the refrigerator and keeps you warm. (We won’t discuss my fathers soups because I’m still traumatized, lets just say lettuce in soup is a bad idea.)