What To Keep In Mind When Chopping Vegetables For Soup

There is a soup for every taste and mood. From a cold and flavorful gazpacho with a little kick courtesy of Tabasco sauce to a hot and hearty vegetable beef barley soup full of diced carrots and celery. Soup is often a family-pleasing meal. After all, what kid doesn't enjoy chicken noodle soup? It's also a busy adult favorite for the many weeknight soup recipes that can be cooked on the stove or in an Instapot or crockpot. 

To ensure the soup's ingredients reach their full potential, extra attention should be given to the vegetables. For example, some vegetables should be sweated, such as onion, garlic, and celery to enhance their flavor, per Chatelaine. By sautéing the vegetables in oil or butter first, they become softer, and their flavor is enhanced. As big of a time-saver as it can be to add all of the vegetables to the soup pot at one time, America's Test Kitchen states that adding vegetables to the broth should be staggered. This is a necessary step when multiple kinds of vegetables are used in a soup because of different cook times. 

But before you can sweat the vegetables or add them to the broth, they need to be chopped. There is an approach to cutting up a whole vegetable that makes a big difference in the enjoyment of a bowl of soup.

A spoonful of vegetables

It may be tempting to give vegetables a quick chop and then dump them into the pot, whether because you are in a hurry or think it will create a heartier, more rustic-style soup, but Chatelaine warns against this approach. All vegetables should be chopped into pieces that fit easily onto a spoon for the best eating experience. Chatelaine also advises chopping greens such as spinach and kale to increase the ease of eating the soup.

If vegetables aren't chopped into a variety of sizes, they will cook unevenly, according to America's Test Kitchen. By putting thought into how vegetables cook, and thus adjusting how they are chopped, having some vegetables that turn mushy while others remain crisp can be avoided. To determine what size to cut the vegetables to, it's important to understand how quickly they cook. Potatoes and carrots that are denser will take longer to cook, while softer, more delicate vegetables such as asparagus or corn take less time.

When it comes to vegetables in soup, a little extra effort goes a long way to creating a bowl of satisfying, deliciousness.