Too much sodium can raise blood pressure, putting extra stress on our hearts, arteries, and kidneys. But making food that’s low in sodium and still big on flavor can be challenging. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to make a low-sodium soup that’s still delicious.
LOW SODIUM stock is the way to go. Beef, chicken, or vegetable are all great choices.
CARAMELIZE, CARAMELIZE, CARAMELIZE
Sautéing vegetables until they are brown and delicious takes some time, but it’s totally worth the wait. Not only does this caramelize the sugars of whatever you are cooking, but it also adds a layer of fond to your pan. What is fond? It’s all the tasty little bits on the bottom of your pan. You’ll regret leaving any of this stuck to the bottom!
Add some liquid, like stock, wine, lemon juice, or vinegar. I always try to pick a liquid that brings something to the party. Water will work, but it doesn’t add any flavor. Scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan, and now you’re deglazing. Fancy!
A little minced, crushed, or sliced garlic goes a long way. Garlic can be added to oil before sautéing vegetables to add a more intense, toasted flavor. If you want a more potent garlic flavor, you can add it while sautéing vegetables. If you are sensitive to garlic, the best way to impart flavor is to crush the cloves, sautéing them until they start to brown, then pull them out of the oil and discard. You will be left with a much more subtle garlic flavor.
I like to toast dry, ground spices to season soups. Toasting spices can be done in a dry pan, or you can add them to the oil when sautéing. No matter the method, you are looking for the spices to darken in color slightly and become much more fragrant.
I find that a splash of lemon juice brightens up nearly every soup I make.
I always have some extra chopped parsley or cilantro. Depending on what direction the ingredients take me, I may add some fresh herbs to finish each soup. Something that looks better always tastes better.
Summer Polson is Project Angel Heart’s sous chef. She grew up in Aurora, Nebraska, and Brookville, Ohio, raising paint horses and a bunch of pets on her family’s hobby farm. After earning culinary arts and food service management degrees from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, Summer moved to Colorado. She cooked in a restaurant in Colorado Springs and at the Denver Country Club before coming to Project Angel Heart in 2008.