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What's with the soup??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've been making soup since I was a kid, but I've never had this happen before. :confused:

I'm having friends over for lunch tomorrow, so I made a pot of Tuscan-style vegetable soup using Swanson's Organic Vegetarian broth as a base. I've used it before with good results. I sweated leek, celery and carrot with garlic in olive oil, then added a bit more salt, fresh ground pepper and some dried herbs (thyme and Italian mix from Penzey's). Also going in the pot were Italian parsley, zucchini, diced canned tomatoes, a small amout of shredded cabbage, a can of rinsed canellini beans and some chopped frozen spinach. (I did put the entire block in, so that's a bit of water I hadn't thought of.) I added 2 quarts of the vegetable broth. After I let the flavors simmer on low about an hour, I tasted it and it was BLAH. Okay, how about some more tomato? I opened and tasted a 4 oz. can of pizza sauce; it seemed right so I added it too. Still, no dent in the flavor equation.

I'm going to cool the soup and refrigerate it for tomorrow, then taste it again. Any ideas what I can do beyond dumping in a bunch of salt? I'd like to keep it vegetarian since I think one of my diners eats that way. By the way, I'm going to pass a dish of grated Parmesan with the meal.
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post #2 of 12
you might be getting sick or losing your mind:cool:
Did you taste the Zucc's. They are sometimes bitter this time of year. That bitterness will sometimes neuteralize everything. Was the stock without salt?
If would use the cheese instead of salt if possible

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post #3 of 12
You might also try melting a handful of the Parmesan cheese into the soup itself. I have a veggie soup recipe I do that with and it gives it a nice richnes.

Good luck!

d.
post #4 of 12
Mezz-
If you have some rind you can cut off your parmesan, toss that in and simmer for a while. I do that with all my minestrone/ vegie style soups. I keep the rinds in the freezer and just pop a few in when needed.
Emily

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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Okay- cheese it is!

Pan, I was not aware that zucchini had that kind of power over other vegetables and stock!

The stock is salted. The soup simply lacks depth- I don't know how else to say it. I'll taste it in the morning and add the cheese (no rinds available at the moment, but it would be GREAT) and whateve other seasoning it needs.
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post #6 of 12
You might blend some of the soup and add it back in. Also maybe a little balsamic and or soy. Or strain off some of the broth, reduce to intensify flavor and then add back in.
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post #7 of 12
On my last visit to the local Whole Foods I noticed that they're selling small packages of Parm rinds at the cheese counter.

Mike
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post #8 of 12
I'm a bit of a pure-ist so it may come as no surprise that I would recomend avoiding canned "broth" or "stock". Making a vegetarian soup? Start with a basic mirepoix and roast it in the oven until you get some nice color. Deglaze your roasting pan with a nice dry white wine that you would actually drink and add tomato paste for more color and layered flavor. Add all of that deliciousness to a stock pot (A five gallon, heavy-bottomed pot) with mushroom stems and a lovey bouquet garni made up of fresh thyme, parsley, fresh bay leaf and a few black peppercorns and let your stock come down about a third of the way. Strain and transform it into your vegetable soup. I'm assuming you know NOT to salt your stock. Wait until it's soup to season. I know this takes time, but god!, it's worth it!
post #9 of 12
Hey mezz!
I just realised my last post was my 100th!
Anyhow, as far as the soup, Pretty much all the replies are on the money, The cheese thing works great, Also removing and pureeing, adding some acidity (balsamic), Salt and pepper it also, I like to pound it full of fresh herbs, I will use the stems of Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Cut them Small then addd some of the hot broth in a good blender and puree the **** out of it. Run it through a Chinoise back into the soup. Pan is right on also (who's suprised), Zuchini and Yellow Sqush can kill it, perhaps roast them first next time.
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post #10 of 12
You didn't mention if the Italian parsley was dried or fresh. If dried, it would probably add little if any flavor. If fresh, you should not add it at the beginning but near the end.

Same with the salt and pepper. Season when its near completion as soup.

I would have added the cabbage last too, which, when I make vegetable soup is the last thing I do before final seasoning.

I agree with the mirepoix to add body, but I've never felt the need to do that for vegetable soup, but then I use my own homemade stock and pretty much follow the recipe in Joy of Cooking with excellent results.

In fact we make up 18 quarts at a time and can it and it still tastes great years later!

doc
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all of the advice. Doc, the parsley was fresh, but it was added early on with the veggies while sweating. Maybe more added later would have added a punch.

I'll have to look for the parm rinds at the store that has the good cheese. Great idea! If I don't see it, I'll ask.

Another bit of information: I learned soon after that I had a sinus infection. That probably put a dent in my senses of taste and smell. The diners loved it, so it must have been me! :blush:
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post #12 of 12
Oh,I see you have already made it and I'm glad they liked it. Here is what I do:

I am vegan so I wouldn't add cheese. If you have a vegan guest, To add depth, add some ground up dried mushrooms, or a bit of commercial vegetable base (if there is room for more saltiness). Sometimes I try to give my tuscan soups a little more pronounced rosemary flavor so I add quite a bit more than the other herbs. I'm also a fan of dried basil for some reason so I'm liberal with that. I get your problem a lot, though. It lacks flavor/depth. I have been relying on my vegetable base a lot lately, but it seems like a cop out. Do you know what I mean?

Edit: OH!! I have a very helpful hint! For these italian veggie soups, sometimes the only thing that makes it better is time! Make it the day before, I swear it is divine the next day.
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