There’s nothing like a steaming pot of soup to take off the chill on a cold day. Want to up your winter soup game? We’ve got seven simple tricks to make your favorites even better:

1. Save the bones from your roasted chicken (including storebought rotisserie chicken) in the freezer to make stock. The roasted bones will give your soups more flavor than raw.

2. Need to swap out dried herbs for fresh, or vice versa? As a general rule, one tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of dried herbs. Add dried herbs in when you first start cooking your soup, but add fresh herbs in near the end.

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3. Don’t throw out the rind from a chunk of Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese. Instead, freeze it until you’re ready to use it, then include it as one of the long-simmering ingredients in your soup or broth to infuse that wonderful umami flavor.

4. When you’re cooking soup for a long time, simmer it gently — don’t boil it. You should just see the surface moving, with little bubbles coming up every few seconds.

5. Avoid over-salting your soup. When it’s done cooking, taste it to see if you need more salt. Add just enough to make the flavors “pop,” but not so much that it tastes salty. People who like salt can always add more at the table, but once it’s in you can’t subtract it.

6. To avoid mushy noodles or pasta, this should be the very last ingredient you add to your soup.

7. Save some for another day! Once your soup is completely cooled and chilled in the refrigerator, ladle individual portions into plastic freezer bags or containers and freeze for individual meals whenever you like.

More on NJ Flavor:

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