September 2003 Edition
Savoury & Satisfying Soup

by Susan Wesenhagen

Cooler weather months are the perfect time for the slow simmered tastes of soup. Whether you serve up savoury broths or hearty rich thick soups, your customers will feel right at home with this quintessential comfort food.

Soup fits in with the increasingly popular one-dish, one-bowl meals that have been popping up in foodservice establishments all over the country. Influenced by the Asian bowl meals; chilis, soups and stews are gaining in popularity.

As an entrée food, soups enhanced with thinner cuts of marinated, seasoned or sauced meat become hearty meals. They're simple to prepare and can be adapted easily to create new and unique flavour profiles.

Noodles, fried rice, beans, and grains such as quinoa can all be added to soup to give it a full rich 'entrée' feel. Add dipping bread, pastry coverings or a dollop of sour cream to serve up a little something extra to transform your soup into a meal.

And with so many different types of soups to choose from you're never at a loss to enhance your menu. You can truly choose to offer a different soup of the day, every day, and customers will be enticed by the variety. Try adding a new twist to an old favourite, such as shrimp chowder with tequila, or chicken noodle soup with roasted red peppers.

Health conscious and nutritious conscious patrons will also be drawn to soup because it is perceived as a healthy alternative to heavy foods, while still satisfying the desire for a hot meal. And don’t forget soup can be a great grab and go menu solution when served in a cup.

How you position soup on your menu is limited only by your imagination, it can be a simple starter, an entrée mainstay or a grab and go favourite. ¨

Soup What's What

Broth: Liquid that results from cooking meat or vegetables in water.

Bouillon: Another word for broth, usually referring to the dehydrated broth cubes that dissolve in water.

Stock: Liquid left over after cooking meat or vegetables with seasoning in the water.

Consommé: Clarified fish or meat broth.

Roux: Thickening agent made of equal parts fat (usually butter) and flour.

Condensed: A soup with the excess water removed.*

*Created in 1897 by Dr. Dorrance, General Manager of the Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company. This invention allowed for lower shipping costs, less packaging and storage space. It made soup less costly for the average person, and put Campbell's soup on the table in thousands of homes. Soup became so much a part of Campbell's identity that they adopted the word soup into their name.

The Base of Things to Come

Traditionally used to prepare soup, gravy, stock or sauce, soup bases have found new ways to extend their reach across your menu. Whether you're conjuring up a zesty dip or tangy pizza dough, soup bases from Sysco provide a fast, easy and inexpensive way to add your new secret ingredients to everything from starters to entrées and each bite in between.

Batters and breading alike benefit when you add one of Sysco's operator friendly soup bases. Try giving your fried calamari a soup-base boost with Sysco Imperial Seafood Base, and watch your customers request this appetizer time and again. Serve starters and bite-size tidbits with dips and spreads enhanced by these high quality kitchen helpers. With their "meat-first" content of 33 percent or more real roasted meat, guests are guaranteed great beginners that put an end to hunger pangs.

Sauces and side dishes find a new lease on taste when a spoonful or two of Sysco's consistently flavour-rich soup bases find their way into the mix. A complementary butter sauce made with Sysco Imperial Bacon Base and Sysco Imperial Clam Base packs a double punch of cooking perfection when ladled over grilled salmon. Mashed potatoes and stuffing disappear off dinnerware even faster when prepared with Sysco Imperial Chicken Base. And when Sysco Imperial Bacon Soup Base or Sysco Imperial Classic Ham Base shake things up on the vegetable scene, everyone cleans his or her plate.

Finally, main courses keep their hearty appeal with these versatile tools of the trade. Pork Loin roasted in a savoury mixture using Sysco Imperial Low Sodium Beef Base provides a comforting culinary experience. Chicken dishes are rubbed the right way with soup-base basting mediums that work wonders for all your grilling or rotisserie needs. And, Sysco Imperial Vegetable Base ensures your vegetarian guests order with enthusiasm by allowing you to prepare delicious meat-free meal offerings.

Masters of their foodservice domain, soup bases from Sysco can do it all. From providing the first steps for a signature sauce that inspires seconds, to an unforgettable sandwich spread that customers come back for, soup bases from Sysco are the perfect way to heat up your diners' appetites.