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34

There's an old children's story about making Stone Soup. In it, a penniless begger offers to teach people how to make his favorite recipe: soup, made from a stone! He boils some water and drops a stone in, and while it's "cooking", keeps mentioning offhand things like "It'd go great with some carrots" or "Celery would be lovely in this". The townspeople rush ...


31

There really is no practical difference; the dictionary definition of a soup is: a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with various added ingredients. Which also applies to any stew you can conceive of. The technical, highly-nuanced difference is that of emphasis and intent. Stewing is a method of cooking the solids (...


28

I think you're misunderstanding the claim slightly. You do not heat an already pureed soup, you puree and heat in one step. You can indeed make a hot soup from cold ingredients using certain high end blenders. The only one I've verified this with is the vita-mix. To do this, you put your ingredients in to the blender, turn it on, and let it run about 5 ...


25

It takes quite a while for a pot of hot soup to cool down to 40°F in the fridge. Several hours, sometimes, depending on the shape of the pot and the volume of soup. If you're heating and re-chilling the same soup daily, it's going to spend a lot of time in the danger zone. From a safety perspective, you'd be much better off making a pot of soup every few ...


24

The easiest way, is to cool (fridge) it down and remove the hardened fat that should have floated to the top. You could try doing while the soup is hot by using a shallow spoon and spoon the liquid fat from the top, or use absorbant paper to absorb the fat. In both cases, it will never remove all of the fat, especially if the soup contains meat or is not a ...


23

I tend to just stick the spices in a tea egg I do this whenever I think the spices will get in the way during my process or when I want to remove them before serving, such as in case of a bouquet garni, cloves or juniper berries. Should you be reluctant to use metal in your recipe you can of course use loose leaf tea bags. Either way you can just lift ...


23

Add the water incrementally. It's probably enough to add just a bit, stir, then add the rest, but you can break it up a bit more if that doesn't work. A clump of powder or a lump of paste won't dissolve easily into water, but it's easy enough to add a little water to it and thin it out. So the idea is to work your way up from powder to paste to thinner ...


20

Sauteed onions can provide both caramel flavors (from the sugars in the onions) and Maillard reaction compounds, depending on how they are sauteed. Thus onions can supply a range of "umami" flavors for soup which otherwise you need to get through roasting animal bones and other tissue (e.g. brown veal stock). Of course, even beef stocks often add onion as ...


20

'Cream of' originally meant not only pureed, but cream added, regardless of other ingredients - most modern shop bought versions will either have cream or a product of dairy origin added, which is why there are often warnings about lactose intolerance on 'cream of' soups.


20

There are lots of potential thickeners, but you often need to select the one that works best with your given need (temperature, if it has dairy, resulting mouthfeel, etc). In your case, you're already using rice, so you may want to stick with a starch -- corn starch, potato starch, tapioca, etc. For these, you add a bit to cold liquid, mix it well, add it ...


19

Unfortunately, cornstarch does that. It does not reheat well. Potato starch is even worse, and that's the thickener in Knorr's Leek Soup. If you want to reheat something thickened, your best bet is to thicken it with a roux. There are other more modern thickeners (think molecular gastronomy), but I don't know much about those.


16

The version of the story that many Americans know comes from the book Stone Soup, in which three weary soldiers enter a village and convince the suspicious villagers to share their supplies by showing them how to make soup from stones. A big pot, some water, and three smooth stones is all you need for the soup, but it's much better if you add vegetables, ...


16

I can't speak to your specific recipe, but I worked in a Chinese take-out restaurant for a few years, but that was a ways back....if I remember correctly, the process was extremely simple. Start with a broth of hot water, white vinegar, salt and a drop or two of yellow food coloring (ancient Chinese secret - food coloring) Get it nice and hot and add a ...


16

Soaking beans will not soften them. If done for a very long time (i.e., days), some beans will eventually begin to sprout or ferment, at which point they will become softer. But that is generally not desirable for basic cooking. Instead, you'll need to cook the beans to get them to soften. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer until the interior is the ...


15

With such a random collection of ingredients, I'm hesitant to suggest anything lest it conflict with one of the flavors. With that in mind, add extra ingredients a little at a time to make sure it doesn't go overboard or taste jarring with something already in there. Suggestions to improve the flavor: Celery salt or celery seed (preferably ground). Fresh ...


15

It is a specific process. After the soup is cooked, it is put through a blender. It is no longer chunks of food floating in a broth, but it becomes a homogenous creamy liquid. Sometimes pieces of other food are added after the creaming to put some texture in again. Typical additions are croutons, swirls of sour cream, or minced herbs, all added at serving ...


15

Ice bath. Put a bunch of ice in your sink or in a container large enough to place your soup pot in. Add enough water to cover the ice. If the soup pot is large or wide, you can speed up the cooling by periodically stirring it: this is particularly important for thicker soups or stews, where the middle section of a pot can stay warm for a long time. Or, ...


14

Remove most of the water (you can keep it aside and use it to make vegetable stock). Put the rest in a blender, add grated Parmigiano and a little bit of butter (or a tad of fresh cream). Season with freshly ground pepper and/or some chili (very good to balance the sweetness of the squash), and garnish with parsley. Serve with croutons.


14

You would use the flat bottom spoon as you would use a regular spoon. The main different between the flat-bottom spoon and western spoons is as you can see the flat bottom and the fact that the flat bottom spoons are usually bigger and can hold more liquid. I'm not sure why it would be awkward to use it compared to a regular spoon. You don't need to stick ...


14

No, it isn't safe, water bath canning is only safe for high-acid foods as the acid kills botulism. Low-acid food must be processed at 240F, 116C, and that can only be achieved in a pressure canner. When you pressure cook the soup it kills the bacteria, however when you then transfer it to the sterilized jars it could be contaminated on the way, and then ...


12

I noticed you didn't mention beans, which are fairly common in minestrone. Cannellini beans are most typical, but you could experiment with others (garbanzo, fava beans, etc.)


12

You've already guessed it correctly, soup chickens are basically old codgers that are too tough to roast or fry up. They may get tender enough to eat if you cook them slow for 2-3 hours but often even that won't make them palatable. The only reason I'd ever use them is if I wanted to make loads of chicken stock and didn't plan to use the meat.


12

Obviously, every manufacturer is going to have their own proprietary methods. However, canned goods are often made by combining ingredients (possibly partially cooked) directly into the cans, and then pressure cooking them in the can as part of the canning process. So, for example, the broth, some celery, and some carrots might be added to the open can in ...


12

A soffritto is the Italian cousin of the French mirepoix. Both consist of small cubes of root vegetables and onions. The gentle “sweating” in fat enhances the sweetness of the vegetables and brings out the “umami”, an almost meaty flavor. In the onions it also breaks down the sharp pungency. The process will form a flavor base that brings a certain “...


11

Can make it a creamy tomato soup by adding heavy cream or half and half. While this will make the soup taste less spicy be careful if you get heartburn or other issues from eating spicy food, because it will not nullify those effects.


11

I learned this trick from an old friend of my Grandmother more than 50 years ago. She put three rounded stones in the pot when cooking soup so they would move about and stop the vegetables and grains from settling and burning on the bottom of the pot. Molly did all of her cooking on a wood/coal fired oven. Many people of my Mother's generation used to ...


11

Attention - possible gross information to follow. Queasy fellows stop reading here, please! Long simmering aside: If some saliva has gotten into your soup (e.g. someone tasting and double-dipping), corn and potatoe starch might break down, too. This is caused by an enzyme (Amylase), that breaks the loger starch down into smaller particles. (see Wikipedia: ...


11

Canning I've been looking up canning, as I suspected it had much to do with the process of noodles not absorbing all the water. I've found this tangentially related post and quoting: You CAN can pasta yourself. It is not difficult but, like the commercial caners [sic] you will need to make sure it is high acid (they add flavorless citric acid) but using ...


11

1.5 litres for 4 servings is 375ml per serving (plus some volume from the veg which I'll ignore) assuming no water boils off. That's a sensible portion. I reckon my soup bowls hold just a little less than that, but you'll leave some in the pan when serving . So I doubt you lose a lot of water when you normally cook it. That said, I'd err on the side of ...


11

Make your favorite vegetable soup. Remove 1/4 and puree in blender. Return to the rest of the soup. If it is not yet think enough, increase the amount you remove and puree until you find the consistency you are looking for. If you don't have a blender, you can use an immersion "stick" blender, or even a hand cranked food mill. Alternately, if you have ...


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