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I was making my homemade vegetable beef soup and put too many cans of tomato sauce and paste in it. My husband says it is a tomato soup instead of a vegetable beef soup. What can I do to improve it?

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2 Answers

Like all essentially liquid recipes, once you put two much of something in, its in. You cannot get it out.

So you have only two choices:

  1. Find a way to mitigate the excess ingredient, or in this case, repurpose it so it seems intentional
  2. Create an additional batch of the soup with reduced or eliminated tomato, and combine them so the proportion is essentially the intended one.

For the first approach, you might embrace the tomato-y-ness of the batch, and add spices or flavors like chilis that compliment that. Enjoy it for what it is.

The second approach can also be effective, but you will end up with much more soup. That is great if you are happy soup lovers, or if you can freeze it for later, but may not be practical for everyone.

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Take a small batch and add more meat and vegetable to it. Use the rest for pasta sauce.

Mushrooms and cheese

For the pasta sauce, add lots of sliced mushrooms - fresh shitake mushrooms. Then grate in mozzarella, cheddar or blue cheese before serving.

Mushrooms and liver-fried fermented tofu

If you are lactose intolerant, try a little bit of fermented tofu. Fermented tofu has very strong and disagreeable flavour and odour. In the hands of someone experienced in its use, fermented tofu can be be used to provide an exotic cheesy flavour to food. What you could do is to use it to fry chopped liver and then use that to flavour the pasta sauce.

During the frying, the fermented tofu would lose a lot of its pungency by fouling up your kitchen. Over-frying it would cause it to lose its morbidity turning it into unexciting stale salty bitter tofu mess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinky_tofu.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6Xerlt6kLQ.

The problem with this solution is, you would probably never use fermented tofu very often and you would have a jar/packet of fermented tofu stored in your freezer for next 20 years.

There are also different grades of pungency. The most pungent being the ones from Hong Kong.

Sweet pineapple and lots of celery

Put in sliced, fresh but very ripe pineapple. Very ripe, because they are sweeter. Or use canned sweetened pineapple. This will turn your tomatoey soup into celery soup. If you are using canned pineapple, don't cook the pineapple.

Sliced canned rambutans

Canned rambutans taste almost like canned lychees but they have more flesh. Whereas the taste of fresh rambutans are distinctly different from that of fresh lychees.

Canned rambutans are an extreme rarity. Because, in places where rambutans are in abundance, they would prefer fresh rambutans. While in places where fresh rambutans are not found, people would barely have heard of them. Don't cook the rambutans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan

Turn it into a pot of curry

Get a tub of Thai green curry. Ideally, you should get a pack of sabji or korma masala powder from an Indian spice store. However, apparently, it is easier to get a tub of Thai green curry paste than to locate an Indian spice store in New England. Sabji masala, because it is not a hot spice mixture (maybe a little-little hot).

http://www.everestspices.com/masalas/sabji-masala.

Add in more celery, lots of potatoes, and egg-plant (aka brinjal) cubes.

Egg-plant is used a few ways.

  • Over-cooking where it melts into a paste to thicken the curry.
  • Throw the egg-plant cubes in while the soup/curry is hot but the heat turned off.
  • Cooking whole egg-plants in the soup without turning it into gooey slime. Lift the soften egg-plant and use a fork to strand it out - making egg-plant noodle. Making egg-plant noodle may require some experience thro trial and error. Over-cooking it, but before it melts completely, would turn it into slimy strands. Under-cooking it would make it too difficult to strand it.

The idea of the egg-plant strands/melt and potatoes is to give your curry extra body to balance with the tomato.

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