Stock that Pot with Claire’s Soups
“It wasn't until I joined CC in January of 2006 that I realized that dieting doesn't work. I began making changes to the way I cook, eat, exercise and live. I made sure they were changes I can live with for the rest of my life. I use all the CC tools and the Advice section. I get support from forums, my journal and now Groups. It's been a long, slow journey for me, but I continue to lose and will never turn back.” – Clairelaine
I was making soup, quite a bit of soup, and decided to use my great huge old enameled stock pot for the job. Usually, I only pull this pot out from its space under the range if I am actually making stock. Was it taking up storage space better used by some other cookery pot or pan? Do you really need a stock pot? Once again, it was time for some research. Result? Yes you do need a stock pot - if you like to boil pasta, braise a mountain of lean pot roast with a pile of carrots and onions, or create a big pot of beautiful chunky winter vegetable soup. While a stock pot can do the job of other large pots, no other pot can do what a stock pot does.
What makes a stock pot so important? It’s the deep straight sides (the pot is about as wide as it is tall). This design slows evaporation and concentrates the wonderful flavors from the veggie and other trimmings into the liquid. A good pot is highly conductive and non-reactive. Highly conductive, what is that? It just means that the material the pot is made of distributes the heat evenly with no hot spots so your food cooks perfectly throughout. Non-reactive? Some foods (alkaline or acidic) will react with the metal and may change the taste of your dinner in an unpleasant way - and damage the pot. To compare different pot materials you need to get to know the conductive or thermal properties. This article is a great resource for comparing material properties. It's perfect for the "just give me the facts person" and the more scientifically inclined. Before you buy, give it a good read.
Once you are armed with information, compare prices. Few of us can afford high end expensive pots like those you find in the kitchen of a professional chef. They are lovely and all, but you really don't have to spend a fortune. This is the stock pot of my dreams. I’ve tried casually setting out little ads that exclaim the merits of this gorgeous pot in time for gift giving occasions, but to no avail. So, my next step as I consider replacing my old pot will be to scale back my dreams of glowing stock pots and spend some time with About.com and their great comparison of the ten best stock pots.
Once you have your pot, make some stock…or some soup! My friend Claire – who was better known at Calorie Count as Clairelaine - loved soups, but was on a serious sodium reduced diet. Her concoctions sung the praises of vegetables in tasty harmony with a lower sodium life style. As there are quite a few of us here that reduce sodium in our diets, I thought you would enjoy a sampling of recipes for Claire’s soups.
Claire’s Cream of Anything Dry Soup Mix means that you never have to buy a can of Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup again. Make the dry part, and then whip up a batch of tasty thick creamy goodness for your next casserole...or add to any soup you want to "cream".
Claire’s Butternut Squash Soup is easy and so delicious.
Claire’s Fat Free Creamy Potato Soup with Leeks combines two of my favorites veggies, you will love it.
Claire’s Action Packed Veggie Soup rocks the nutrition charts. Enjoy it often.
Claire’s Beef Barley Soup is a filling comfort soup.
Claire’s Lentil Soup will win praises from every member of your household.
If you really have your heart set on the best of pots and you cannot convince someone to buy it for you, do some reading and pricing. Shop for one good stock pot – and then go make some soup!
“Don't Be Afraid To Try.” - Claire
What are your favorite pots made of and why? Are you eating a sodium reduced diet? Did you give up soup because of that? Or do you make your own? Share your favorite reduced or no sodium soup with all of us here! If you have a recipe of any kind that you would like to have considered for The CC Palate, please send it to me via pm.