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I am planning on defrosting some leftover turkey soup for supper tonight. To make it go farther I am planning on adding noodles to the soup in addition to some vegetables (ie. carrots). In this case I think the soup needs more liquid in it but I don't want the soup to become to bland.

Should I add water to the soup and if so should I just add bouillon crystals (I have chicken and beef) or something else? Also should I defrost the soup then add the noodles/vegetables and cook it in the soup or cook it separately and then add it to the soup?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Well, you can always add some broth -- chicken would be good. That would allow you to control the salt more so than using boullion crystals.

As far as cooking the vegetables, it depends on whether there are already pieces of vegetables in the frozen soup. If yes, then you may want to cook your add-ins first so that the stuff that's already in the soup doesn't get mushy. If no, you could cook them in the soup.

(However, I have a caveat as far as cooking noodles in broth. When you cook noodles, some of the starch from the pasta transfers into the cooking liquid. This is why pasta water is often used to help with the texture of pasta sauce. If you don't mind having the starch in your soup, you can go ahead and cook the noodles there. If you are bothered by that, cook the noodles separately, drain, and then add them.)

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A good way to extend the soup you already have (a chunk of) is to begin a base/stock (using something like some celery hearts, or thinly sliced celery, shredded carrots, a bay leaf, a stalk of parsley, etc) and then defrosting the chunk in the base once it has a nice savory flavor of its own established. To minimize over-cooking of existing components of your soup I would recommend breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking very low as you will also likely end up with an excess of useless moisture (from freezing the soup) that you'll need to cook off.

As for the noodles, since they will require less time relative to cooking off the moisture my personal take would be to cook them on their own and add them in the last 5 minutes of simmering. Whether they will stand up to cooking in the soup itself is determined by the noodle type, and the added starch wouldn't hurt the soup.

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