Soup may be one of the oldest foods (evidence can be found that it was eaten as far back as 20,000 B.C.E.) but the age-old staple is currently enjoying a heyday, with penetration on menus increasing significantly over the past few years. According to Datassential, 49 percent of consumers who order soup at restaurants do so at least once per month.
In particular, soup is increasingly popular among younger consumers, who will eat it during any daypart—17 percent say they will eat soup for breakfast or a snack.
Among the most popular soups are those with familiar, comfort-food ingredients such as broccoli-cheddar, baked potato, and chicken noodle, as well as flavors that cater to current consumer demands for spicier foods, like chicken tortilla or tom yum.
“Additionally, bone broth continues to be a buzzword in the food industry,” says Jaime Reeves, director of College Inn research and development at Del Monte. “It first gained traction among the Paleo diet crowd—which limits food intake predominantly to what was available during the Paleolithic era—but bone broth has now reached mass appeal.”
Much like it sounds, bone broth is made from simmering the bones and connective tissues of animals in order to produce a highly-nutritious stock, which can then provide a base for soups, stews, and sauces. It is a staple for nearly all successful restaurant kitchens, because the applications are so versatile.
“Broth is also commonly used by chefs to keep dishes moist,” Reeves says. “They either make broth from scratch or from bouillon cubes or pre-made stocks, like those available from College Inn.”
Making a bone broth from scratch can be incredibly time-consuming, however, requiring 12 to 48 hours of prep time, depending on the richness of flavor desired.
To combat this challenge, many chefs are incorporating more pre-made stocks in order to increase efficiency in their kitchen.
“Starting with a good flavor can make all the difference for the end product,” Reeves says. “Not only are there differences in flavor, but also in sodium levels and ingredient labels—so it’s important for operators to be discerning when choosing a vendor.”
To learn more about how you can improve efficiency in your kitchen with pre-made stock, please visit products.delmontefoodservice.com/college-inn