In my opinion, one type of food that is really underrated is soup. I love soups because there are so many simple soup recipes that taste great, can be adjusted for any time of the year, comprise a broad range of flavors, and do not cost very much to make. Not to mention that once you make soup, you can easily store it and eat it later, which will save you time and money in the end. If you really want to push your love of soup to a new level, you can start making chilled soups and even desert soups, although I would be willing to wager that is too much soup for one sitting.
Any soup recipe should start with some basic rules. First, you should choose some type of healthy fat to include in your soup. This could be butter or olive oil or some other type of vegetable oil. The oil will allow you to sauté any vegetables that you want to include to add flavor. In my opinion, olive oil goes best with any Mediterranean or Italian soup that has a tomato base. If you are making a creamy soup, you may want to use butter instead of olive oil. After choosing the type of fat to include, you will have to choose the base of the soup. Generally people like to go with some type of chicken or beef stock, but other common bases are tomato and cream. You also have the option to experiment with mixing two bases, like tomato with chicken stock or some other combination.
The next step in putting together a soup of your liking is to choose what type of meat you would like to include. Chicken is always a popular option, but whether or not to include chicken depends on what kind of soup. You may want to go with ground beef instead, especially if you are making chili or some Italian soup that has meatballs. Keep in mind that your choice of meat will have to match the base that you choose. For example, you will not want to have beef in a soup with fish stock as the base. Chicken stock generally goes well even if you use beef, however, especially if you add some tomato.
Vegetables and spices to include
In addition to the selection of meat, you will need to choose some vegetables. One of the most common selections for most soup recipes is onion. It gives off so much flavor that it does not take much. Keep in mind that not everybody likes onion, so you may want to check with your guests first. After onions, carrots and celery and garlic are extremely common ingredients in soup. Of course beans, corn, potatoes, and squash are also available. In the end, use whatever vegetables you like, just make sure that the flavors they give off are complementary to the meat and the base of the soup. Finally, add in some spices, if only just salt, to give your soup that missing flavor.