Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Sometimes it is nice to just grab ingredients from the pantry / freezer and throw things into a pot for a quick "homemade" soup. Typically quick soups like this utilize a mixed bag of frozen vegetables. Unfortunately, I can often taste that the vegetables were frozen. Is there a way to mask this frozen flavor?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

What you are describing is often worst when the vegetables are thrown together in a manner that seems "willy nilly" without care as to what vegetables will do well stewed for a while, while others only need to be heated through and will suffer if they are cooked longer. A great example of that is in the case of typical "frozen mixed vegetables". Carrots are never nicely tender in mixtures like that. Lima beans are downright chalky and peas are total mush. If you want to use frozen vegetables, avoid mixtures. Pick the vegetables that you actually enjoy, and add them to your soup at a time appropriately distant from the time that you actually want to serve the soup. Even if you bring lima beans to a boil just before you add corn, bring that to a boil before you add frozen potatoes, add frozen carrots, bring that to a boil before you finally add peas just before you serve - your soup will be better than emptying a bag of mixed vegetables into broth.

share|improve this answer
I think you are doing a better job of describing the perceived flavor issue than I did in my question! I like your suggestion of creating my own mixed vegetables. – ahsteele Dec 22 '13 at 20:24
Thank you! It was realizing that I actually like peas that caused me to see this particular light. – Jolenealaska Dec 22 '13 at 20:28

I cannot imagine what the specific taste is that indicates vegetables were frozen, assuming you are using a product with reasonable quality.

You may optionally choose to saute the vegetables before adding them to the soup to get some additional flavor development (this will reduce the total time they need to cook in the soup).

Also, make sure you are seasoning your overall soup sufficiently, as frozen vegetables, much like fresh ones, have no salt.

share|improve this answer
Maybe it's just a perceived taste based on texture or appearance. We are buying name brand vegetables from the chain super market near our neighborhood. – ahsteele Dec 22 '13 at 20:22

If your frozen veggies taste like they were frozen then that's the issue to solve. Decent frozen vegetables which have been stored properly should not have any off flavors at all. If, on the other hand there are odors in the freezer, or it's not storing things cold enough, or you haven't properly re-sealed the vegetables after you took some out then that could lead to things tasting a bit off. Also, they could just be old, nothing lasts forever.

So, make sure you've got the right storage temp, and maybe clean the freezer out thoroughly. Stick an open box of baking soda in to control odors, seal your vegetables properly, and get rid of them if they are more than 6 months old.

If you still want to use them you'll have to cover it up with strong flavors like a nice hearty stock, garlic, chili, etc.

share|improve this answer
Using a factory sealed bag. Vegetables are taken directly from the freezer and put into the soup. None of the other foods kept in our freezer home wrapped or factory sealed take on any sort of flavor. – ahsteele Dec 22 '13 at 20:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.