Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have taken elements of a number of different recipes and have developed my own recipe for potato leek soup. The ingredients are:

  • Potatos
  • Leeks
  • Vegetable and chicken stock
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt, various herbs and spices
  • Vermouth

Quite a few of the recipes I built mine from included the dry vermouth so I built it into mine as well. In an 8 qt stock pot I use 2/3 cup (specifically Martini & Rossi Extra Dry). It's not enough for me to notice a flavor difference between batches that I make with it and without. That leaves me to wonder what it's there for. I guess it could provide a touch of sweetness. Would it be for the acidic factor as well?

If you need more detailed information on the ratios of ingredients I'd be happy to share, just left it out for brevity.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Vermouth is a fortified white wine that has been infused with herbs, spices and fruits. You should expect it to add those flavors to your dish.

Have you tasted the vermouth on its own? Are you sure you can't identify it? If you still think you can't, I'd suggest tasting your soup as you add each ingredient and concentrate on what flavors each ingredient adds.

For what it's worth, Cooks Illustrated has reviewed Martini & Rossi Extra Dry and classified it as "not recommended" due to tasting medicinal and harsh.

Gallo Extra Dry California and Noilly Prat Original French were both recommended, in that order.

They used a pan sauce as well as straight tasting for their reviews. Perhaps you could try that yourself and see what flavors vermouth gives to a pan sauce, as compared to a white wine. You might find out that you're overpowering or masking a flavor in your vermouth with some of your various herbs & spices.

share|improve this answer
2  
Interesting. Yes, I've tasted it and could appreciate the medicinal tag placed on it. I have not tasted other dry vermouths, though. I will definitely try tasting after each ingredient is added. That's something I have to work on anyway, is tasting more often. It's quite possible that other spices are overpowering. There are only a few of them but 2 are cayenne and white pepper. Cumin and bay leaves are the others. I'll give those other vermouths you listed a shot as well! –  squillman Sep 16 '10 at 2:27
    
@squillman: It's a funny coincidence that I just read the vermouth reviews this morning. –  hobodave Sep 16 '10 at 2:32
    
heh, I was going to salute you on your memory on that one considering what I found was from 2003 cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=9801 :) –  squillman Sep 16 '10 at 2:35
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.