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BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?

12 Mar 19 - 05:00 AM (#3981599)
Subject: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

My vegetable soup is bland. Suggestions please on making it tasty!


12 Mar 19 - 05:31 AM (#3981604)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Make it hearty by including some tiny shell pasta or orzo towards the end. Rice even. Don't overdo it or your soup will become more like a risotto (why not...) Always start with a soffritto of chopped onion and celery (and carrots for me too) made with extra virgin olive oil. Make a simple pesto with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and parmesan (not basil in this case) and stir that in near the end. A few drops of tabasco gives everything in the world a lift. Keep the veg chunky and include some borlotti or cannellini beans. A sneaky spoonful of sundried tomato paste can be good if you don't mind the colour change. Easy on the herbs, though a touch of rosemary and thyme, removed before serving, wouldn't hurt.

If you don't mind its not being veggie, some chopped pancetta in that soffritto would massively increase the depth of flavour. Just use less olive oil though.


12 Mar 19 - 08:04 AM (#3981629)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

thanks Steve


12 Mar 19 - 08:14 AM (#3981630)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Another generally good idea is to cut the veg up chunky and roast it in the oven (olive oil) before adding it to the stock and soffritto. I'm not a fan of charred edges, however. Very good with butternut squash and courgettes.

Never chuck away parmesan rinds. You can freeze them. Throw one or two into the simmering soup for up to half an hour. It adds depth and makes an amazing chewy tasty snack for the chef to go with your aperitif glass of white wine. I've been known to leave the rinds unnecessarily thick with this in mind.


12 Mar 19 - 08:17 AM (#3981631)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Dave the Gnome

There is a Polish vegetable stock on sale in shops nowadays that we find boosts flavour. I'd tell you what was in it but we don't seem to have any in :-( It's in granule form and you just spoon it in as required.


12 Mar 19 - 08:59 AM (#3981636)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: gillymor

My favorite soup and the dish I probably make more that any other, I usually make cornbread along with it,and have never tried squash because I like it with sweet potato so much, you could also substiture carrots for either. From the original Moosewood Cookbook:

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    -3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
    -2 cups chopped onion
    -2 cloves crushed garlic
    -2 cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes or winter squash (I like to do a cup of each)
    -1/2 cup chopped celery
    -1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes (or substitute 1 can of tomatoes)
    -3/4 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
    -1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
    -3 cups stock or water
    -2 tsp. paprika
    -1 tsp. turmeric
    -1 tsp. basil
    -1 tsp. salt
    -Dash of cinnamon
    -Dash of cayenne
    -1 bay leaf
    -1 Tbs. tamari

Instructions

    In a large saucepan saute onions, garlic, celery, and sweet potatoes in olive oil for about five minutes. Add seasonings except tamari, and the stock or water. Simmer, covered, fifteen minutes. Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer another 10 minutes or so until all the vegetables are as tender as you like them.
    Check salt. Add tamari if it could use a little more.


12 Mar 19 - 12:03 PM (#3981676)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Donuel

Al my vegetable soups get a drib of sesame oil and 3 sloshes of picante hot sauce and for hint of sweetness a teaspoon of ketchup especially if there is tomato. In fact today is veg soup day. If cheese is added always grate it and add it at the end under low heat.

veggies to use; lots of carrots, cauliflower, corn, cabbage bits, onion chunks, garlic slices, corn, black beans, okra, fennel slices and celery. I avoid pasta and go with potato cubes.

veggies I avoid; broccoli, beets,

season to taste with; salt pepper tarragon garlic salt experimental dashes of fennel seed cinnamon minced magic mushrooms and grains of paradise. Any amount of cumin turns it decidedly Mexican.

If you ever season it too hot with ghost pepper or red pepper, tone it down with crushed pineapple or apple sauce (sweet and hot)


12 Mar 19 - 12:11 PM (#3981680)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Donuel

If you ever get sausage spice mix you can get the sausage taste without real sausage in soups or add to hamburgers to make them taste like sausage.

now I gotta go make the soup before I oxidize the upstairs carpets.


12 Mar 19 - 12:59 PM (#3981696)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

Sounds good . thanks everyone.

I will present these findings to the boss and make an informed decision.


12 Mar 19 - 04:28 PM (#3981735)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Rapparee

I've grown to like barley in any soup. Just don't overdo it.


12 Mar 19 - 05:11 PM (#3981738)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Mrrzy

Much as I hate to say it, Worcestershire. A drop goes a looong way.


12 Mar 19 - 05:12 PM (#3981739)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: meself

I take whatever I have too much of, and whatever looks/smells like it's about to go bad, and throw it in. Dashes from any little jar the label of which can no longer be read. Into the spice cabinet: liberal sprinklings of any spice that's been there five years or more. And you know, nine times out of ten it tastes pretty good. The tenth time it is merely 'interesting'. Experiment.


12 Mar 19 - 11:05 PM (#3981770)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: ripov

What's all this "Olive oil" stuff? Don't you people use good old pork dripping?


13 Mar 19 - 03:27 AM (#3981779)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: BobL

No - I save that for my bacon & eggs!


13 Mar 19 - 11:03 AM (#3981801)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

If you include pancetta the soffritto and cut down the oil accordingly, you are sort of using pork dripping-equivalent...


13 Mar 19 - 11:26 AM (#3981809)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: gillymor

I suppose it's okay to add Facon drippings to your veggie soup :)

I left out a couple of details for the Gypsy soup recipe above:

I crack the chick peas with a potato masher, busting them up a little improves the texture.

I serve it with whole wheat Naan which serves as an edible utensil when you break it into bits as you go because the stuff is fairly thick.

I substitute curry powder for the basil, paprika and tumeric sometimes for a changeup.


13 Mar 19 - 12:09 PM (#3981821)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Charmion

I start most soups with bacon cut into lardoons, and add garlic when the fat is rendered out. Then onions or leeks, celery, carrots and whatever other veg are involved, dried herbs (especially bay leaves and thyme), sauté a bit more, then lentils or barley or rice, then stock. Cook for a while, taste. Add salt (if necessary) and black pepper. Taste again.

At this point, if the soup is still blah, it's time for Worcestershire sauce, or perhaps a shot of lemon juice. Lentil soup benefits from a hunk of orange rind in the bouquet garni, and a large pinch of rosemary.


13 Mar 19 - 01:37 PM (#3981843)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Donuel

A soup BASE is important. Vegetable soup is usually tomato sauce OR chicken broth base. It could be another can of soup.

Hey I tried 'Worst is sure' sauce. Were talking 2 drops here. I even experimented with horseradish.

I make enough soup for ten days so that later incarnations might include meat leftovers. If you're worried about spoilage you can throw in 8 fresh crushed boiled cranberries. They are full of a natural organic preservative called sodium benzoate.


13 Mar 19 - 06:44 PM (#3981888)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: michaelr

I thought about saying "put some meat in it"... but what you want is umami (or savory taste, which is one of the five basic tastes. It has been described as savory and is characteristic of broths and cooked meats.) It can be got from mushrooms, tomato paste, anchovies, seaweed, soy sauce, miso, aged cheeses and Asian fish sauce.


13 Mar 19 - 08:43 PM (#3981906)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Let's not go mad here. Al asked about veg soup!


14 Mar 19 - 03:41 AM (#3981923)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Jos

I believe Worcestershire sauce contains anchovy, so not all vegetarians will accept it.
Have you tried jackfruit? You can get it in tins.


15 Mar 19 - 06:19 PM (#3982366)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

Well I'd prefer vegetable. I'm always a bit nervous of reheating meat


15 Mar 19 - 07:37 PM (#3982379)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Reheating meat is fine. It's whether the meat has been kept warm for hours beforehand. A common misconception.


15 Mar 19 - 08:36 PM (#3982383)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

I dunno Steve. do you remember that bloke who was killing everyone with this pasties in Scotland somewhere - somewhere in the lowlands I think.

All the locals were up in arms - saying , it criminal what those health people are saying about that poor man! So they prevailed...

then the next week, he killed about six more people.


15 Mar 19 - 08:54 PM (#3982384)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Reheating well-pepared food that has been stored sensibly, in a fridge or freezer, for not too long, is perfectly fine. In fact, I make meaty stews and ragus with the express intention of reheating them, as they taste much better after a day or two or more, and we save meat from roasts for days. The risks are:

...you kept the food for too long, maybe more than four or five days for cold meat from your roast for example.

...you kept the food too warm for too long, for example in a warm kitchen.

...you reheated food that had been badly stored, as above, but not to a high enough temperature to kill germs.

Thing is, reheating food full of germs takes a few minutes, not enough for germs to multiply much. Reheat it to a high enough temperature for long enough and you're fine.


15 Mar 19 - 09:35 PM (#3982389)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

Though there are exceptions.


16 Mar 19 - 11:34 AM (#3982503)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Tattie Bogle

It was cooked meats in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, and E.coli was the bug. There were issues around cooking long enough, not using temperature probes, storage, not using separate knives for different jobs, etc.

And don't forget staph enterotoxin: heating may kill the staph but not destroy the toxin it has secreted.


16 Mar 19 - 12:34 PM (#3982514)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

I had a roadie who was always nearly killing himself. he never seemed to learn - he used to heat up stuff from the Chinese take away.

Also he was always going to restaurants where they made the most disgusting meals. If they piled his plate high and didn't charge him much, he thought he was getting a bargain. A couple of times , he took me to places and the pong coming out of the kitchens would have knocked down a horse.

i used to feel such a shit. He'd say, this is MY treat this time! And invariably, I'd say - you gotta be joking , we'll be dead if we eat there. One time he cheerfully admitted he'd thrown up the meal last time he went there.

Mind you, he was a Derbyshire lad, they make 'em tough round there.


16 Mar 19 - 12:50 PM (#3982518)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Bonzo3legs

We always keep a stock of sweet chilli sauce, which to my tastebuds makes even the blandest of vegetables almost edible - that is to say, most of them!!!


16 Mar 19 - 04:34 PM (#3982547)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Tattie Bogle

Just remembering a meal in Fez, Morocco, in 1967: some sort of chicken tagine. 4 of us had the exact same meal. 3 out of 4 of us violently ill for the next 2 days. The 4th person pointed to his second bottle of dirt cheap red wine while we eating said meal - " If you drink enough of this stuff, you'll be fine"!
Yeah, maybe stick to veggies, Al.


16 Mar 19 - 04:57 PM (#3982550)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Jos

Reminds me of Cordoba many years ago when I was the only one of a party of maybe a couple of dozen who didn't get 'food' poisoning after a special celebratory meal. It is a surreal experience to be surrounded by people throwing up while you remain unaffected.
It turned out that the only thing they had consumed that I hadn't ... was the water.


16 Mar 19 - 07:00 PM (#3982569)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Bonzo3legs

Was that in Spain or Argentina?


16 Mar 19 - 07:10 PM (#3982570)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Helen

Tomato soup.

Fry 1 onion until translucent. Add a clove of chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add about 5 or 6 chopped tomatoes or canned tomatoes if fresh are not available. Cook until the tomatoes and onion mix are mushy and fragrant - for longer if using fresh tomatoes. Add a good amount of stock and water to fill the pan - more water than stock. Cook for about 10-20 minutes. Then add the secret ingredient. A cup or less of red lentils. Cook for about 10 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove pot from stove. Blend into a smooth soup. Serve. If you want add a dollop of sour cream or milk to each bowl. Yum!!

My go-to food when I am not feeling tip-top.


16 Mar 19 - 08:12 PM (#3982574)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Donuel

I'm still having the veg soup I made since my first soup post here.
I'll go lighter on the cabbage next time but it is savory.


17 Mar 19 - 04:01 AM (#3982600)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Jos

It was in Spain, Bonzo3, in 1963. I was surprised, because before I ever went to Spain people said to me 'Don't drink the water!' So I didn't, unless it had been made into hot coffee.
Had nobody given those other people that well known bit of advice?
I heard once that medieval guides for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostella included warnings about the water in Bilbao. (They were right. The effect of the water there could be dire.)
Sorry if I've put anyone off their soup.


17 Mar 19 - 06:43 AM (#3982620)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Big Al Whittle

yeh Eu regulations don't seem to cover the stuff coming out of the taps.

You'd Spain would do it just for themselves. Mind you, I suppose its difficult, whe its that hot to store water.

Thanks for that Helen. That's it! I feel inspired to have a go at that!


17 Mar 19 - 07:20 AM (#3982624)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

When in Spain, drink beer.

Jos, your Córdoba yarn reminds me of last April in Rome. During the whole of our trip Mrs Steve and I ate all the same grub. The one exception was that, on our last day, I topped up my water bottle at a suspiciously slow-running drinking fountain in the Vatican Museums. Just after arriving home the next day I suffered a rip-roaring four-day bout of V and D and she didn't. Poisoned by the bloody pope....

Rome prides itself on its thousands of safe public drinking fountains...

We went to Córdoba in the height of summer a couple of years ago. The daytime temperature was 40C and I remember wandering around the city at eleven at night with the temperature still at 37C. I loved Córdoba and the mesquita-catedral. The year before we went to Granada in similar heat and saw the Alhambra by moonlight, visiting the gardens the next morning. Unforgettable. See both before you die!


17 Mar 19 - 07:22 AM (#3982625)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Steve Shaw

I think it's "mezquita"!


17 Mar 19 - 07:28 AM (#3982629)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Jos

I went to Granada as well - in the gardens of the Alhambra I picked a ripe fig from a tree, warm from the sun. It was the best fig I ever ate.


17 Mar 19 - 02:17 PM (#3982688)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Helen

Hey Big Al, let me know how the tomato soup turns out. Sometimes I add a few chopped fresh or dried green herbs, but mostly I just like it as it is.


17 Mar 19 - 02:28 PM (#3982692)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Helen

Oh yes, another Aussie favourite, and for some reason this soup makes Americans turn up their noses, but that's because you're not supposed to use pumpkin from a can. Is there sugar in those canned pumpkin monstrosities? We get our pumpkins out of a pumpkin, not a can.

Fry 1 onion until translucent. Add a clove of chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add about 3 or 4 cups of cubed pumpkin. Cook the pumpkin for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to bring out the flavour. Add a good amount of stock and water to fill the pan - more water than stock. Cook for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft but not falling apart. Remove pot from stove. Blend into a smooth soup. Serve. If you want add a dollop of sour cream or milk to each bowl.

You can muck around with this adding different flavours or spices, but try the plain version first. It's surprisingly good.

My hubby likes adding curry spices, but he didn't like it when I add tomatoes. "It's supposed to be pumpkin soup, not tomato and pumpkin!" The rules of the kitchen world!! LOL


18 Mar 19 - 05:05 PM (#3982958)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Tattie Bogle

Helen's recipe sounds similar to one I got off the BBC Good food recipes website. I had a rather old tin of green lentils in the cupboard that I wanted to use up, so I used those and tinned tomatoes, onion and garlic. It was OK, and very simple to make.


19 Mar 19 - 08:52 AM (#3983094)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: lefthanded guitar

I may have the answer for you , Al.

I make something that could either be called a stew or a (thick) soup.
I have to admit I do use a small chunk of meat; nothing fancy - whatever
cut of steak meat you prefer. The stew/soup is made of any vegetable I happen to have about (potatoes, green peppers, celery, etc) and it always includes onions and garlic. I let this simmer for a llllooonnnngggg time, which means at least 4 hours. I find that long time cooking on a low light lets the flavors come out; this soup/stew is so savory I don't even need salt.

But the real secret is : Scallions!!!!
I discovered this quite by accident, when a local produce
supplier had green scallions that looked so fresh and
colorful, I couldn't resist buying them . I chucked a whole
load of scallions ( bulbs and all) into my stew/soup on a whim,
and got quite a delicious meal . Never make my stew/soup   without them now.
I think that even if you don't want to add the meat for flavoring; scallions should
do the trick.


19 Mar 19 - 01:01 PM (#3983136)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Thompson

Lentil soup

We generally make this on a chicken stock base - we make stock every week in the pressure cooker, but it's also nice on a vegetable stock base.

In order of appearance:

olive or rapeseed oil
a couple of bay leaves
chopped onions
chopped celery
chopped carrots
chopped courgette
a handful or two of lentils (usually red, but Puy etc are nice for a change)
a couple of sprigs of thyme
stock of choice
half a cup or more of chopped parsley

Fry the onions until they're transparent, then the celery till it's soft, then everything before the thyme until coated and glossy.
Add the thyme and stock. Bring almost to the boil (rolling but not bubbling), and keep going until the carrots are soft. Season to taste. Then add the parsley and do for another ten minutes or so, until the parsley has kind of disappeared. Serve with crusty white bread or dark brown bread, and we like a glass of milk with it.

If you want to ring the changes, you can add in barley or quinoa or other grains every now and then.

I could never understand why my lentil soup didn't taste like that in the old Bewley's, which I used to gollish down with crisp-coated brown soft rolls and a pint glass of their own herd's cream-laden Jersey milk. Then I discovered that it was the parsley that made the difference.


19 Mar 19 - 01:06 PM (#3983138)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Thompson

Oh, and tummy stuff. I got sicker than I ever hope to be again after eating a sorbet in southern Spain. That was before the EU, when all the public water sources in France had notices saying "Eau non potable". All forgotten now, in both Spain and France.

And probably the biggest and stupidest cause of gut poisoning in homes and businesses is people storing raw meat above cooked meat in the fridge. One drip from above and it's a poison party for bacteria.

Another cause is ill-paid, tired workers not washing their hands after chopping raw meat and working on cooked meat.

But then if you'd done any waitressing you'd remember the classy places with sewage leaking out over the floor outside the kitchen and rats peeking cheekily through the cupboards.


19 Mar 19 - 02:11 PM (#3983150)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Rob Naylor

Big Al: I had a roadie who was always nearly killing himself. he never seemed to learn - he used to heat up stuff from the Chinese take away.

It was probably the rice. Reheated or cold rice, when the original hot rice was allowed to cool too slowly, is a death trap. Far more dangerous than re-heated meat.

My recipe for vegetable soup would be to summer Donald Trump in a large cauldron for several hours. Then throw away the resulting soup.


19 Mar 19 - 02:14 PM (#3983151)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Rob Naylor

summer=simmer of course!


19 Mar 19 - 02:39 PM (#3983166)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Helen

Rob, you forgot the axe head. Simmer Trump in a large cauldron with an axe head. When the axe head is soft, throw trump away and eat the axe head. That's an old joke about eating Aussie parrots. Which no-one does because they are too hard to eat, have no nutritional value and are unpalatable.


20 Mar 19 - 12:49 AM (#3983244)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Helen

Forgot to say, if you want a tastier pumpkin soup you can roast the pumpkin and then put it in the pot and cook it down a bit in the stock.


21 Mar 19 - 12:02 AM (#3983498)
Subject: RE: BS: Vegetable soup - any ideas?
From: Neil D

Scallions, soy sauce, a large apple pared, cored and cubed.