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I’m cooking soup that consists of chicken broth, water, creme, butter, and puréed vegetables.

When we add the seasonings (sage, creole, etc), after a while the seasonings all float to the top.

I was wondering if there was anything I could add that would keep the seasonings from separating, but not drastically alter the flavor?

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    If you boil them in a bit of water and pour it in the soup, that should get enough of the oxygen out. leaves are like little sponges, they either hold air or water. – aliential Dec 26 '19 at 13:03
  • As the herbs cook, they'll absorb water, so most will stop floating. Also, grinding them finely will allow them to incorporate into the soup more quickly without significantly altering their flavors. – Suncat2000 Dec 26 '19 at 18:18
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You could use a bouquet garni.

bouquet garni https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Bouquet-Garni

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouquet_garni

The bouquet garni... is a bundle of herbs usually tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, casseroles and various stews.The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to consumption...

There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes include thyme, bay leaf and parsley.[2] Depending on the recipe, the bouquet garni may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns,[5] savory and tarragon.. Sometimes, the bouquet is not bound with string, and its ingredients are filled into a small sachet, a piece of celery stalk,[3] a net, or even a tea strainer, instead.

I have usually done this with cheesecloth. If your herbs are dried as in this picture that would be how you do it too. Make a bag of cheesecloth, fill it with herbs and tie it with string. Remove from the finished soup and throw it away, so you do not eat it by accident.

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  • The picture shows an uncommon variation; this would be the common one (which obviously only works with freshly cut herbs); both serve the same purpose. – user75265 Dec 26 '19 at 21:52
  • This is awesome. Thank you so much! – Creoix Dec 26 '19 at 22:57
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They're mostly “wood”, so unless they're particularly dense (like peppercorns), they want to float on water. But their flavors will have been mostly extracted by that time, so they've done their job.

A more viscous soup will slow their rise. A finer grind will improve wetting, and solvation by other molecules in the mixture, will slow aggregation and the resulting additive buoyancy that helps to overcome the viscosity. Just think of them like bubbles in a drink. The smaller they are, the slower they rise, and the better they stick to the glass.

Sorry I don't have a source right now, but I believe this would be explained by fluid dynamics.

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1

My preferred method is to use a thickener or emulsifier to bind the seasonings to the liquid and prevent them from moving freely. This also makes the soup feel more filling. Depending on what kind of flavor or texture you'd prefer, you can use finely chopped/shredded potatoes or carrots(any starchy vegetable will work), cornstarch or potato flakes, or some combination thereof. Add the finely chopped or shredded starchy vegetables at the beginning of cooking to ensure that they fully dissolve into the stock by the time you're done.

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