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It is possible soup has been around since the first pots could be placed over a fire. The word "soup" most likely derived from the bread one poured it over called "sop" or "sup". Before that soup was known variously as broth or pottage or even gruel (although now we think of gruel as being strictly a mashed cereal grain boiled in water). Cultures came up with different approaches to soup depending on what was available locally. Borscht made from beets is from Russia. Bouillabaisse is a fish soup from the port city of Marseille France. Minestrone made of fresh vegetables and beans is from Italy. Scotch broth made of mutton or lamb root vegetables and barley is from Scotland. You will find there are soups specific to most locales. There are two main classifications of soup: clear soups and thick soups.
A roux of butter and flour may also be used as a thickener. The longer the roux is cooked the darker and more flavorful it becomes. Be careful not to scorch the roux or it will give the soup an unpleasant burned taste. Cream is another alternative to not only thicken but add a luxurious richness to soups. A cornstarch slurry of 1 part cornstarch to 2 parts liquid will also thicken soup; do not boil or the solution will break down. Freezing and Reheating Soup... Most soups freeze beautifully. Consider preparing large batches of soup so that there will be extra to freeze and serve at a later date. Chill soup in the refrigerator and skim off any fat that rises to the surface before freezing. Freezing cream-based soups may cause separation. If the soup does separate while reheating whisk vigorously with a wire whisk or try blending it in a blender for a few minutes to smooth it out. Reheat frozen soups in the microwave or thaw at room temperature and heat in a heavy saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.
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The French classifications of clear soups include bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified by their thickening agents. Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch. Bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream. Cream soups use a béchamel sauce for thickening. Veloutés are thickened with butter cream and eggs. Soups can also be thickened with rice flour grains lentils mashed potatoes or puréed carrots. In addition to being delicious soups are also generally quite healthy. You do have to be careful about the sodium level in processed soups. Many manufacturers now offer lower salt level options. Salt caution aside soups offer a filling meal often rich in vegetables (increasing fiber intake) and a high liquid level (perfect for keeping hydrated).