Most recipes that contain chopped onion and/or garlic tell you to saute first, then add the other ingredients, whether it's for a soup or stew or whatever. Why is that? When I make spaghetti sauce, for example, I usually just add the chopped garlic to the simmering sauce. Am I doing a bad thing? Would it be better if I sauteed it first? Same with soup. I don't saute the onions before I add the other stuff, I just add the onions along with other raw vegetables to the pot and simmer.