TASTE
01/27/2014 09:03 am ET Updated Jan 28, 2014

7 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Soup (PHOTOS)

Flickr: chris.pillen

We love soup here at HuffPost Taste. We like it with pumpkin, and with potato. We like it thick enough to stand a spoon up in. We even like it with our grilled cheese. But what we don't like is when someone makes a bad pot of soup.

Soup is a simple dish to make. It doesn't call for complicated cooking techniques or high-end ingredients, so there's no excuse for a bad pot. What soup does require is your care and consideration. If you want to make a really good pot -- one that will warm your bones and soothe your soul on a cold, hard day -- than you need to put your heart into it. And you'll also need to be wary of some common mistakes people make.

Don't let an overly zealous need to salt ruin your glorious pot of soup. Read on and see what simple mistakes you're committing. And then correct them. You'll be rewarded with years and years of great homemade soup.

  • 1 You Don't Make Your Own Stock
    Flickr: www.WorthTheWhisk.com
    The stock is where all the flavor comes from, so why would you leave that all-important task in someone else's hands? Making your own stock is simple, promise. We'll even walk you through the steps.
  • 2 You Add Pasta Or Rice Too Soon
    Flickr: tomatoes and friends
    Unless you want your pasta and rice to disintegrate into nothingness, only add these items to the soup with just enough time to cook them through. Rice can go in during the last 20 minutes and pasta only needs 10.
  • 3 You Boil When You Should Simmer
    Flickr: Susu Jabbeh
    What's the hurry, guys? Boiling is just too abrasive for soup. Simmering allows your soup to gently release flavors from the ingredients which means all sorts of good things.
  • 4 You Don't Add Enough Stock
    Flickr: brianna.lehman
    This. Is. The. Worst. The best part of soup is the soul-warming broth. Don't cook it all away. Keep in mind that as soup cooks, the broth reduces. Also, some ingredients tend to soak up a lot of broth. So it's not a bad idea to go a little heavy on the stock. Remember: when in doubt, add more stock.
  • 5 You Add All The Ingredients In At The Same Time
    Flickr: whitneyinchicago
    Most ingredients require different cooking times. Beans, lentils and hard vegetables should be added close to the beginning of the cooking process. And soft vegetables, like summer squash, should be added toward the end (since they take two seconds to cook).
  • 6 You Don't Wait Till The End To Salt
    Flickr: Genista
    If you add salt at the beginning of the soup-making process you're guaranteed to have an overly-salty soup. And there's not a lot you can do about that. Have patience and wait until the end. Also, as the soup cooks down, the flavors intensify and you probably won't need much salt anyway.
  • 7 You Don't Put Love Into It
    Flickr: half alive - soo zzzz
    Making a pot of soup is a labor of love. If you're going to rush through it, you just shouldn't bother. Take your time, let things simmer, and keep in mind that this meal is going to put a smile on everyone's face.

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