Would you agree that trying someone’s soup is a good way to test their cooking cred?
MOLLY STEVENS: Sure, much in the way a sauce is a good measure. Good cooks taste as they go. The only way to make a good soup is to pay attention. MICHAEL KLOETI: Absolutely. Because a soup can be an entire meal in itself, it means that all the components need to be there: texture, flavor, look. You can’t make shortcuts. SD: What would you say are the biggest mistakes people make in soup cookery? MS: They underseason. There’s what I call a “cream of cream” soup. It has a lovely texture, but you don’t know what it is — it doesn’t have a defining flavor. MK: Don’t skimp on the quality of the material you’re using. Soup is looked at as a secondary thing to use up whatever you’ve got [in the fridge], but that’s what stocks are for. [A finished soup] is not necessarily going to taste like rosemary, tarragon or parsley, but a bunch of herbs should go into the soup. Cream of celery is not just celery, broth and cream — there are a lot of other ingredients that went into it. SD: Can you offer