When making soup, my husband likes to add a lot of water then boil off for 30-45 mins to make it more concentrated.

I prefer to add just enough water for consistentcy then gently simmer, thinking that adding the water will just dilute it anyway, defeating the purpose of then boiling it off. Plus then the contents get mushier..

Which approach is recommended - or will both end up with a similar result?

  • 1
    I think it goes that a gentle, long simmer will result in a better stock in terms of flavor and clarity. But if you are pressed for time, a hard boil will probably extract the flavors more quickly. And in this case because of evaporation you will probably be obligated to add more water
    – user50726
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 18:21

2 Answers 2


My experience and the recipes I read are to simmer. Hard boil and simmer are the same temperature so cooking time should be the same. A hard boil can break up contents. Hard boil also dirties your stove top. That said even with a simmer you can sometimes need to add liquid.

If your husband wants to hard boil there is not much harm. He is cooking.


I doubt there is an advantage to adding extra water during the soup making process. Soup making is often a shorter process, and built on an existing base stock.

Stocks are commonly reduced, perhaps even by half (thus concentrating the flavor) for storage. One would then add water back, to bring the stock to regular strength, when ready to use for a soup.

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