Here’s an easy way to keep drips and spills to a minimum when ladling soups or stews. Before lifting the filled ladle up and out of the pot, dip the bottom back into the pot, so the liquid comes about halfway up the ladle. The tension on the surface of the soup grabs any drips and pulls them back into the pot.
Homemade soup is a winter treat that's easy to freeze. But most people freeze it in large multiserving portions that make for a lot of unnecessary defrosting when the need for just one or two servings arises. Instead, use this easy system for freezing convenient single servings. Set out a number of 10- or 12-ounce paper cups for hot beverages and fill each with a portion of cooled soup (but not all the way to the top). Label, wrap, and freeze each cup. Whenever you want a quick cup of soup, remove as many servings as necessary from the freezer and microwave them until they are hot and ready to serve.
Using a gravy separator to defat liquids is effective, but, admittedly, it’s sometimes a pain. And forget about using one to defat a chunky stew. That’s why we recommend this alternative method: Place a large lettuce leaf on the surface of the liquid in the pot; it will absorb excess fat, and then you can remove and discard it.