As far as I’m concerned, the seasons dictate which soups to make when. Spring soups can capitalize on fresh vegetables like asparagus, green peas, and seasonal mushrooms. Summer soups can be cool and refreshing, like gazpachos or cold fruit and cold vegetable soups. Fall and winter soups — like chili, chowders, and stews — utilize legumes and root vegetables and are usually much heartier — perfect for colder weather! Whether you’re making soups, bisques, chowders, consommés, or cold soups, the basic skills are the same. All these dishes require the right balance of liquid to solid ingredients, as well as the right level of thickness and flavor intensity. Often, the ingredients that go into these recipes vary significantly in volume, water content, and flavor concentration. In many cases, you will need to get your soup completely assembled, let it cook for a little while, then taste, season, and thicken as needed. Remember, trust your senses, and always use your great stocks as a base.