Cooking tips

How about a thread where we share cooking tips? I'll start. 

If you're making a soup or stew and you're short on time or energy don't feel like you have to fry your onions or meat at the beginning. I've been making soups and stews by throwing in diced meat, chopped vegetables and dried spices into water and cooking for 2 hours and the result is tasty.

For extra flavour you can get some food-grade string and tie 2 bay leaves and some sprigs of thyme and parsley together, and the other end of the string to the pan's handle, and add at the beginning of cooking. To secure it better you can cut off a piece of muslin and put all the herbs in there before tying with the string. You could also add a few whole peppercorns into the muslin if you want. Pull it out at the end and you'll have infused lots of yumminess. This method is called a bouquet garni and originated in the Provencal region in the south of France. The traditional method is to slice off some leek leaves and put the herbs in them, roll them up, then tie both the opposite ends with string. 

  • I have been making soups and stews this way for years, it's also a great way to use up excess veg. With soup I personally split the mix and blend half into a smooth liquid add a dash of cream and then return the unblended portion for a nice mix of texture. It also freezes well so great for keeping for those days you don't have time to cook 

  • Thanks for sharing these impressive tips. I will definitely give it a try. Also bouquet garni method seems interesting.

  • If I am feeling indulgent, I will stir some pesto into minestrone soup - it takes the flavours to a whole new level!