I had chosen not to look at it until it was time to actually work on it, so I was a bit nervous. I won’t go in to details/requirements of this assignment in case you are thinking about taking the course, or are taking the course, and want it to be a surprise but I chose to make savory butternut squash soup because after looking in my cupboard, I was inspired by the squash I saw. Normally, I find butternut squash soup to be a bit on the sweet side, but felt that I might be able to offset that sweetness with some slightly bitter kale and salty bacon. In addition, I love Asian flavors so was hoping to blend the classic pairing of butternut squash and sage with Eastern spices.
Roux-based soups are often referred to as cream soups and have a silky-smooth and cream-like consistency. But here is an interesting fact: Roux-based soups are actually based on a thin velouté sauce or a thin béchamel sauce. The practice assigments consisted of cream of broccoli, cream of asparagus, and cream of cauliflower soup. My favorite was the cream of cauliflower. It was very good and I am going to try roasting the cauliflower first the next time I make it for some added depth and smokiness.
Unit Eight takes the base of making stock and broth and runs with it in an entire unit on soup! I learned how to make four basic soup bases: broth-based clear, stock-based clear, roux-based, and starch-base and builds on previous skills, such as stocks, broths, knife skills, and seasoning.
For me, soup is a comfort food. It provides a warm hug while filling your tummy with a nourishing, hearty meal all in one pot. So, understanding the base of all good soup is important to me and I took Unit Seven to heart. I learned about both white and dark stock as well as the differences between short stock and regular stock, and broth and stock. I gained detailed knowledge about the importance of stock in cooking, the ingredients that generally go in to making stock, how to make stock, and how not to, and how to make broth--all the while learning ways to incorporate stock and broth into recipes.