Hot answers tagged

41

Of course “appealing” is quite opinion-based, so let’s look at the problem in a slightly more neutral “how can I avoid the colors mixing when I blend the soup”. In short, you can’t. If you have a significant amount of green and red veggies, that is. One of the appeals and key features of a classic minestrone are the colorful ingredients that give you a ...


31

That water may contain all sorts of fungicides, dust, contaminants, rodent feces, insects, and so on. The process of production of beans is far from sterile. If you wash the beans thoroughly before soaking, you may avoid it, but a common kitchen practice is to just dump dry beans into water, maybe rinse once to get rid of the worst of the possible ...


29

I wouldn't actually call a soup with thickened liquid "a stew", for me a stew is a cooked dish with very little liquid altogether, be it thick or thin. Because of this, I would suggest a very simple solution: pass your soup through a colander, catching the liquid. Then return as much liquid as you like to your vegetables, to get your stew. Keep the ...


28

Let's leave aside the question of what separates a soup from a stew (there's no real answer, only mostly arbitrary opinions - which seems to be a somewhat widely shared belief around here: https://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/20963/70120). It sounds to me like you have a dish with some liquid in it and you want to thicken it. There are a number of ways that ...


28

The Turquoise Room (at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona) has a "signature soup", which is actually two soups ladled into a single bowl: a bright yellow corn soup, and a darker brown bean soup. While I kind of feel like this defeats the purpose of a minestrone (which, as far as I am concerned, is meant to show off the lovely vegetables), I ...


24

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 ...


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

Fennel is a fairly delicate flavor. I can see how caramelized onion and tomato would easily over power it. The bulb actually provide the most delicate flavor of fennel. If you want a more pronounced flavor, I would suggest fennel seed. I would further suggest you toast them first. They can then be used whole, or, if you want an even stronger flavor, ...


22

Pureed chicken and water is not a stable emulsion, no. There's nothing in there that binds the fat or suspends the meat particles. Most recipes for chicken soup do not call for pureeing the actual meat (they tend to have chunks of chicken in them), so you would normally not see split chicken soup. You could probably return it to its previous texture by ...


21

There is a lot of flavor in parsley stems, as is true of most "soft" herbs. In my kitchen, if it is soft/palatable, I use it.


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

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 ...


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.


18

I've actually tried it. It didn't work very well for me, but it might work better for you. The problem is, cookers like the Instant Pot are designed for quick pressure cooking first and foremost. While they have a "slow cook" or "keep warm" setting, the heating element is still driven at high power, just at a lower duty cycle. Over time, ...


17

What you are describing as a "mushroom" flavor is most likely umami, loosely translated as "savory". It is a flavor that comes from glutamates, which are found in foods like meat, mushrooms, tomato paste, and soy sauce. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a refined/artificial version that can add an umami taste to food, which is often perceived ...


16

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, ...


15

I agree with Sneftel's answer that the quality is likely to degrade over time due to contents settling and breaking down into stuff that doesn't taste good. But just to add a thought regarding safety: food that's kept above 140F should in theory be safe indefinitely (see my answer to related question here). However, I'd be concerned about the proposed idea ...


14

The other reason to discard the soaking water is (theoretically) limiting flatulence. According to The Bean Institute and other sources: Soaking overnight and then discarding the soaking water leaches out sugars in beans that are responsible for gas production. Scientific evidence supporting this is weak and contradictory. However, it hasn't been ...


13

It just has to get to 145F for safety, and in boiling water that happens really fast. 5-10 minutes is totally believable. On top of that, fish is really unpleasant when overcooked, so you really want the minimum possible cooking. (For that reason, boiling is not usually a great way to cook fish - you tend to overcook it easily, especially the outside.) Note ...


13

I buy tubs of Knorr stock powder from restaurant supply stores here in the uk, it's a different product from their cubes, and has a very different flavor, there's also a paste. It may be worth having a look at those. Knorr is the brand I see in the bulk quantities you'd typically see in a restaurant kitchen that you can get retail, other brands are not sold ...


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 “...


12

You could use a 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.....


12

Most vegetables starts to lose their natural flavor when cooked too long, which could be the case for your fennel, and the flavor would be even harder to notice after pureeing with rich tomato-butter-onion. BBC Good Food recommends boiling whole funnel for 20 minutes, and boiling fennel wedges for 12 minute, both of which are way less compared to 45 minutes. ...


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 a ...


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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