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I have consistently observed that a given vegetable simmering in a soup (that is, with multiple other vegetables and herbs, and usually salted) takes five to ten times longer to get soft than when the same vegetable is simmered alone in plain water. This especially pertains to root vegetables. Why is this?

  • I never simmer vegetable in plain (salted) water; I'm curious why I would do it – Max Sep 15 at 12:22
  • By "plain water" do you mean salted, or unsalted? Also, are the vegetables cut exactly the same in both situations? – moscafj Sep 16 at 11:04
  • @Max To avoid the agitation of a full boil and/or to allow denser vegetables like potatoes or dried and soaked beans to cook without their outer parts dissolving to a mush before the centre is done. – Spagirl Sep 16 at 11:05
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    I haven't observed this to be true, and suspect that you may be reporting perceptual time rather than clock time. Have you done an actual test, with times etc.? – FuzzyChef Sep 16 at 22:08
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    @JulianaKarasawaSouza I love that word; crowdier. Thank you for testing this! – John H Oct 7 at 22:04

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