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Help Please!! SOS! Vegetable Soup Problem ......

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi Everybody,
 
I'm in the middle of making a huge pot of Vegetable Soup, and got myself stuck.  I made about 4 quarts of stock from a hambone the other day, but it's not going to be enough.  All the veggies are chopped and ready to go, but not nearly enough stock.


I could try water, I guess, but not sure the stock is rich enough.  It's pretty rich as it has a celery-garlic-onion flavor base and it simmered about 6 hours.  I don't want to put the ham & bone back in .. it had no flavor left anyway.

 

I have beef and chicken stock, as well as beef and chicken base, and a roasted vegetable demi-glace which I was planning to use already to enrich the flavor.

 

Question:  Should I use either beef or chicken flavors, and will either go with the ham flavor?  This will be about 12-15 quarts of soup.

 

I'm also thinking about adding crushed/puree tomatoes.  Should that be done with the veggies .. does it need to be brought to boil first, then simmered, like I did the stock?  Or can I add the tomato sauce later?

 

Any other advice?

 

Any help greatly appreciated.

~~~

post #2 of 20

I would use chicken stock. When I make soup, I often would use pork bone along with chicken wing tips. Beef may be too overpowering against the ham stock.

 

Keep in mind that veggies will release liquid into the soup as they cook down. So it may seem that you don't have a lot of liquid at first, but that will increase later.

 

I don't know how the tomato will go with the ham flavor. It may dominate it too much. It all depends on how you want your soup to taste.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot.  I went with chicken stock.

 

I'm an experienced cook by now, about 12 years, and do some good things, even gourmet things.  But I don't bake, and this is my first soup, ever, thought it won't be the last.  I'm into soups now.

 

Thanks for the help.  I was scared a little, because this will end being a lot of food, and I didn't want to waste it, since the ingredients are pristine, almost all of it organic.  But I really overdid it.  I wanted to make a good size pot, maybe 6-8 quarts.  But my 20 Qt. stockpot is not going to hold it all.  It's part health and medicinal, but I want it to be good, of course.

 

I made the stock with onion, celery, garlic, and hambone, x 6 hrs..   Refrigerated overnight.  The veggies are onion, celery, green peas, green beans, garden peas, butter beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, green peppers. Fresh herbs are thyme, dill, and rosemary (just guessed on the spices).  Also used a little dry Italian seasoning.  Himalayan sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, of course.

 

 

The middle bowl is about 10 quarts, lol.

 

Don't know what this will end up like, but it's smelling good.  Thinking of doing half with crushed tomatoes, if at all.  Whatever it ends up, this is one power pack of nutrition, which is the objective.  There won't be much this won't cure or help cure.

 

Thanks again.

~~~


Edited by IveyLeaguer - 12/13/13 at 11:06pm
post #4 of 20

I would have gone with water instead of more stock.  People really underestimate the power of vegetables and how much flavor they contribute.  I find that a touch of tomato paste adds a lot of body.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #5 of 20
Quote:
The veggies are onion, celery, green peas, green beans, garden peas, butter beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, green peppers. Fresh herbs are thyme, dill, and rosemary (just guessed on the spices). Also used a little dry Italian seasoning. Himalayan sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, of course.

 

Thousands and thousands of people in Europe use stock cubes for their soups, so do I. If I feel like making soup right now, using chicken or beef or vegetal, the choice is easily made and I will have a nice soup within... half an hour. Knorr has some very good quality cubes but there are also others and other types of commercially made "stocks" like the now very popular and tasty low-salt pastes. I keep the space in my freezer for little quantities of homemade stock to be used in sauces. When using cubes, I always stay under the amount that Knorr advises. Something like 2 cubes for 1,5 liter of stock instead of 3 cubes which is always much too salty. This allows me to season soups as I want it.

 

Also, I never make large quantities of soup that is going to end up in the fridge, I call that a waste of space.

 

Counting the number of veggies you used, IvyLeaguer, you certainly don't avoid a lot of work. On the other hand, fwiw, I really think that you can make a lot of interesting soups by restricting the number of ingredients, which is not a general rule at all, I'm just suggesting. Some ingredients work well together, but not everything.

 

To give you an idea; I mostly use onion, garlic, sometimes celery, potato which will bind the soup after mixing it. Let's call that the base. To that I add one or two main ingredients, everything cut mirepoix-style. Add any variation on herbs and spices that will fit the main ingredient. All of this go in a pot with olive oil and I sweat it (NO coloring! Stir often) for at least 15 minutes to open up the flavors; you will notice a very different more intense smell after 15 minutes! Only then add the HOT stock. Simmer for as long as the toughest ingredient need; that's mostly the potato, which is 30 minutes. Mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Done.

 

Here's a few of my concoctions;

Tomato soup with meatballs Fresh tomatoes and meatballs

Nettle soup with homemade breadsticks Nettles!!! with homemade breadsticks made from puff pastry.

Champignon soup Champignon soup from champignon and a little dried porcini.

Cauliflower Madras Curry soup with chicken on skewers Cauliflower soup with Madras curry and skewers with chicken and tarragon.

 

Hokkaido pumpkin soup topped with chorizo and cream Hokkaido pumpkin soup topped with chorizo and cream

 

It would be a great challenge for this forum to make suggestions for soups, based on the ingredient list you posted. I'm sure you can make a lot of interesting variations on soups with it.; "The veggies are onion, celery, green peas, green beans, garden peas, butter beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, green peppers. Fresh herbs are thyme, dill, and rosemary (just guessed on the spices). Also used a little dry Italian seasoning. Himalayan sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, of course."

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

I would have gone with water instead of more stock.  People really underestimate the power of vegetables and how much flavor they contribute.  I find that a touch of tomato paste adds a lot of body.

 

It's pretty good, but think you're right.  The chicken stock seems a little too much.  And the tomato paste is a great tip.  Thanks.  

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

 

Thousands and thousands of people in Europe use stock cubes for their soups, so do I. If I feel like making soup right now, using chicken or beef or vegetal, the choice is easily made and I will have a nice soup within... half an hour. Knorr has some very good quality cubes but there are also others and other types of commercially made "stocks" like the now very popular and tasty low-salt pastes. I keep the space in my freezer for little quantities of homemade stock to be used in sauces. When using cubes, I always stay under the amount that Knorr advises. Something like 2 cubes for 1,5 liter of stock instead of 3 cubes which is always much too salty. This allows me to season soups as I want it.

 

Also, I never make large quantities of soup that is going to end up in the fridge, I call that a waste of space.

 

Counting the number of veggies you used, IvyLeaguer, you certainly don't avoid a lot of work. On the other hand, fwiw, I really think that you can make a lot of interesting soups by restricting the number of ingredients, which is not a general rule at all, I'm just suggesting. Some ingredients work well together, but not everything.

 

To give you an idea; I mostly use onion, garlic, sometimes celery, potato which will bind the soup after mixing it. Let's call that the base. To that I add one or two main ingredients, everything cut mirepoix-style. Add any variation on herbs and spices that will fit the main ingredient. All of this go in a pot with olive oil and I sweat it (NO coloring! Stir often) for at least 15 minutes to open up the flavors; you will notice a very different more intense smell after 15 minutes! Only then add the HOT stock. Simmer for as long as the toughest ingredient need; that's mostly the potato, which is 30 minutes. Mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Done.

 

Here's a few of my concoctions;

Tomato soup with meatballs Fresh tomatoes and meatballs

Nettle soup with homemade breadsticks Nettles!!! with homemade breadsticks made from puff pastry.

Champignon soup Champignon soup from champignon and a little dried porcini.

Cauliflower Madras Curry soup with chicken on skewers Cauliflower soup with Madras curry and skewers with chicken and tarragon.

 

Hokkaido pumpkin soup topped with chorizo and cream Hokkaido pumpkin soup topped with chorizo and cream

 

It would be a great challenge for this forum to make suggestions for soups, based on the ingredient list you posted. I'm sure you can make a lot of interesting variations on soups with it.; "The veggies are onion, celery, green peas, green beans, garden peas, butter beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, green peppers. Fresh herbs are thyme, dill, and rosemary (just guessed on the spices). Also used a little dry Italian seasoning. Himalayan sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, of course."

 

That would be great.  I intend on making more soups, and I'd like to get good at it.  This one was overkill, but it's a health concoction as much as anything, so it'll serve a purpose.

 

Your soups look great.  And thanks for the tips and the ideas.  I'll put them to use.

post #8 of 20

Maybe I should start this up. I'm picking the Brussels sprouts from your list for the following suggestion that could easily be served on a Christmas dinner;

 

Brussels sprouts soup with lardons and hazelnuts

 

Ingredients (plus/minus); 1,5 kg sprouts (3 lbs in your money) - 1 large potato - 2 slices of bacon, 3-5 mm thick - a few sage leaves (optional) - a handful of hazelnuts - around 2 liters of stock, chicken or beef, homemade or from stock cubes.

 

Prep; Peel and cut onion and potato in mirepoix size. Clean sprouts and quarter. Cut bacon in 3-5 mm thick lardons. Cut sage leaves in the thinnest possible chiffonade. Cut the hazelnuts nonchalantly in somewhat kind of a very rough crumble.

 

- put a bit of sunflower oil in a cooking pot on medium-low fire. Sweat the lardons with the sage chiffonade until most of the fat is rendered from the bacon and the lardons start to color. Remove from the pot and keep aside for later.

- add onion and sweat on low fire until translucent. Add sprouts and potatoes, stir every now and then and let it all sweat for at least 15 minutes. Add a little seasoning now; very little salt, some pepper and a little nutmeg. This long sweating is where all the taste will come from!

- add hot stock and let simmer until the potato is very soft. Should be around 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool a bit.

- mix finely with a stickmixer. If the soup is too thick, add some more stock or a bit of water. Taste, taste, taste and add seasoning as you like.

- in a dry pan (= no fat), toast the hazelnuts on medium fire for a few minutes while stirring often

- serve soup in small portions, carefully add a few croutons with sage per cup and a sprinkle of hazelnuts

 

Note; you could use walnuts instead of hazelnuts.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

Maybe I should start this up. I'm picking the Brussels sprouts from your list for the following suggestion that could easily be served on a Christmas dinner;

 

Brussels sprouts soup with lardons and hazelnuts

 

Ingredients (plus/minus); 1,5 kg sprouts (3 lbs in your money) - 1 large potato - 2 slices of bacon, 3-5 mm thick - a few sage leaves (optional) - a handful of hazelnuts - around 2 liters of stock, chicken or beef, homemade or from stock cubes.

 

Prep; Peel and cut onion and potato in mirepoix size. Clean sprouts and quarter. Cut bacon in 3-5 mm thick lardons. Cut sage leaves in the thinnest possible chiffonade. Cut the hazelnuts nonchalantly in somewhat kind of a very rough crumble.

 

- put a bit of sunflower oil in a cooking pot on medium-low fire. Sweat the lardons with the sage chiffonade until most of the fat is rendered from the bacon and the lardons start to color. Remove from the pot and keep aside for later.

- add onion and sweat on low fire until translucent. Add sprouts and potatoes, stir every now and then and let it all sweat for at least 15 minutes. Add a little seasoning now; very little salt, some pepper and a little nutmeg. This long sweating is where all the taste will come from!

- add hot stock and let simmer until the potato is very soft. Should be around 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool a bit.

- mix finely with a stickmixer. If the soup is too thick, add some more stock or a bit of water. Taste, taste, taste and add seasoning as you like.

- in a dry pan (= no fat), toast the hazelnuts on medium fire for a few minutes while stirring often

- serve soup in small portions, carefully add a few croutons with sage per cup and a sprinkle of hazelnuts

 

Note; you could use walnuts instead of hazelnuts.

 

Sounds great to me.  Nice mix of flavors.  I guess perhaps more on the thicker side would be more elegant?

post #10 of 20

I like to roast my vegetables before making the soup.  The caramelizing really expands the flavor IMO especially if using water for stock.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
 

 

Sounds great to me.  Nice mix of flavors.  I guess perhaps more on the thicker side would be more elegant?


It depends how thick you like soups. I'm not a fan of soups that look like a thick purée at all. You will have noticed that I mentioned to use a large potato; they are not for taste but as a nice binding agent. It makes the soup nicely thick. Many times I use around 30% potato on 70% main vegetables. Also, it avoids the need of adding cream but the soup will look velvety as if you used cream!

 

@ Mike9; absolutely. I oven roast my butternut quash in the oven for an hour before using some to make soup. But sweating the veggies for a very long time is the next best solution for getting the maximum of flavor.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 


It depends how thick you like soups. I'm not a fan of soups that look like a thick purée at all. You will have noticed that I mentioned to use a large potato; they are not for taste but as a nice binding agent. It makes the soup nicely thick. Many times I use around 30% potato on 70% main vegetables. Also, it avoids the need of adding cream but the soup will look velvety as if you used cream!

 

@ Mike9; absolutely. I oven roast my butternut quash in the oven for an hour before using some to make soup. But sweating the veggies for a very long time is the next best solution for getting the maximum of flavor.

 

Makes sense, and I can see what you guys mean about getting the maximum flavor from the squash and vegetables.

 

I've had some wonderful soups in restaurants over the years (not chains, except for Friday's french onion years ago), many that were bad, and a lot that were good, but not remarkable.  But some just stand head and shoulders above the rest.

 

So I knew there had to be a lot to making soups, so for years I never tried.  Another thing is I'm sensitive to butter to the point if I can taste it at all, it's too much.  So many soups, especially the seafood soups, which are my favorites, I can't eat because the butter is more predominant.  Others, that isn't the case.  But for me it's a complication since butter is used for the roux.

~~~

post #13 of 20

IL, a niece of mine had this aversion with butter since she was a very young child. Butter simply made her gag. Of course you can use oil as a substitute. I mostly use olive oil or sunflower oil in soups, no butter. Since you like seafood, allow me to post this small portion mussel soup which is easy to make;

 

Prep mussels;

- put fresh mussels in a large pot with some onion, celery, a few parsley stalks and a good dash of dry white wine. No other liquid, no fat. cover and let steam on high fire for no longer than 3-4 minutes.

- get the mussels out of the shells and set aside. Preserve the cooking liquid and pour through a very fine sieve (there will always be some sand in it, leave the very last bit of liquid behind)

 

Mussel Soup;

- add the same amount of water to the cooking liquid of the mussels (or it will be to salty). Cover and keep warm.

- sweat a shallot in olive oil on low fire, add some fennelseeds, add a tbsp. of tomato paste and let fry while stirring for a few minutes (so it looses its harsh taste). Add a tbsp. of flour and let also fry for a minute. It will look messy in this stage but no worries.

- add a little pastis or ouzo or raki and let the alcohol evaporate. Add the cooking liquid of the mussels and 2-3 tomatoes cut in chunks. Add a few saffron threads. You can add some chickenstock if needed to obtain sufficient volume. I prefer chickenstock to fish stock which tastes many times utterly horrible! Chickenstock works perfectly in this recipe.

- simmer for 15 minutes, mix with a stick mixer and sieve

- serve with mussels on a toast with rouille

 

Simplest rouille ever; tbsp. of mayo, optional but very wanted pureed red bell pepper (deseeded and peeled), a little saffron and grated fresh garlic (or harissa paste if available)

 

You could add the mussels to the soup but they will sink in the soup. Looks better when served aside.

Optional; a little cream added to the soup. I never do, cream is such a flavor...killer!

 

Mussel soup, mussels on toast with rouille

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

IL, a niece of mine had this aversion with butter since she was a very young child. Butter simply made her gag. Of course you can use oil as a substitute. I mostly use olive oil or sunflower oil in soups, no butter. Since you like seafood, allow me to post this small portion mussel soup which is easy to make;

 

Prep mussels;

- put fresh mussels in a large pot with some onion, celery, a few parsley stalks and a good dash of dry white wine. No other liquid, no fat. cover and let steam on high fire for no longer than 3-4 minutes.

- get the mussels out of the shells and set aside. Preserve the cooking liquid and pour through a very fine sieve (there will always be some sand in it, leave the very last bit of liquid behind)

 

Mussel Soup;

- add the same amount of water to the cooking liquid of the mussels (or it will be to salty). Cover and keep warm.

- sweat a shallot in olive oil on low fire, add some fennelseeds, add a tbsp. of tomato paste and let fry while stirring for a few minutes (so it looses its harsh taste). Add a tbsp. of flour and let also fry for a minute. It will look messy in this stage but no worries.

- add a little pastis or ouzo or raki and let the alcohol evaporate. Add the cooking liquid of the mussels and 2-3 tomatoes cut in chunks. Add a few saffron threads. You can add some chickenstock if needed to obtain sufficient volume. I prefer chickenstock to fish stock which tastes many times utterly horrible! Chickenstock works perfectly in this recipe.

- simmer for 15 minutes, mix with a stick mixer and sieve

- serve with mussels on a toast with rouille

 

Simplest rouille ever; tbsp. of mayo, optional but very wanted pureed red bell pepper (deseeded and peeled), a little saffron and grated fresh garlic (or harissa paste if available)

 

You could add the mussels to the soup but they will sink in the soup. Looks better when served aside.

Optional; a little cream added to the soup. I never do, cream is such a flavor...killer!

 

Mussel soup, mussels on toast with rouille

 

Awesome.  Looks wonderful.  That might be a Christmas Week dinner plan.

 

Just a few questions, not specific to the above recipe:  Do you use fish stock at all?  And were you referring to homemade fish stock?  How about homemade seafood stock, or say, lobster stock?   Or perhaps a bought seafood demi-glace?

post #15 of 20

I hardly ever use fish stock, I simply don't like the taste. However, let me confess that I will nearly always use a fish stock cube instead of freshly made fish stock, but only when I really need to use fish stock in a recipe!! Tastes much better imo. I have no experience with seafood demi-glace, I didn't know such a thing existed!

 

However..., I will use the heads and shells of lobster and shrimp to make a stock that always comes out stunningly delicious. The shells give a lot less taste than the heads.

Another suggestion is to make a lobster or shrimp bisque somewhat analog to the mussel soup. You need to buy lobster or shrimp with the heads still on! Doesn't matter if you cook them yourself or not, but of course starting from a fresh lobster is so much better. Anyway, a few frozen lobsters, heads on as said, will do nicely in a lobster soup, oh pardon, bisque.

 

Bisque, either using lobster or shrimp;

Take the heads of , c.q. remove the meat from the claws, remove the meat from the shells, c.q. remove the lobster legs. We need all those shells, legs and heads. when using lobster, first split them entirely and remove the [bleep] channel in the tail leading to the also to be removed stomach sac in the head.

 

- in olive oil; sweat a shallot, add the shells and heads, turn the heat to medium high and fry the shells and heads while crushing them using the end of a rolling pin or whatever utensils that can break the heads and shells in smaller parts. Keep frying them for a while, at least until they go nicely red. Add a tbsp. of tomato paste, stir and let fry, add a tbsp. of flour and stir again to let it fry a while, add pastis, add white wine, s&p, fennel seeds, pinch of cayenne. Let the alcohol burn off, then add fish stock (I suggest from a cube). Add a few tomatoes, maybe a little chopped fresh fennel, I like some fresh tarragon in there too. You can add other aromats if you like. Let simmer for no longer than 20-25 minutes. Sieve but push on all stuff in the sieve to get the very last drop of goodness out of there, add bit of cream if you like (don't boil anymore after adding cream!!). Taste for seasoning, add a little lobster of shrimp to the bisque.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that method/recipe.  I love Lobster Bisque.

 

Come to think of it, I've never used fish stock.  I've read about it and heard about it for years, but never really made it or used it myself.  Always shrimp, lobster, crab or some combination of those with maybe some mussels.

 

Glad you made me think about the fish stock .. there's few things I might ever make where the other stocks I love wouldn't do.  So I'll forget about fish stock, per se.  I do save and freeze fish heads and bones from snapper and other fish and add them in when I make a broad-based seafood stock, so I'll keep doing that I guess.  

 

If I have lobster stock on hand, or even my seafood stock, I guess using that instead of the fish cubes in the Lobster Bisque would make sense and boost the flavor, right?

~~~

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by IveyLeaguer View Post
 

.....  I do save and freeze fish heads and bones from snapper and other fish and add them in when I make a broad-based seafood stock, so I'll keep doing that I guess.  

 

If I have lobster stock on hand, or even my seafood stock, I guess using that instead of the fish cubes in the Lobster Bisque would make sense and boost the flavor, right?

~~~

Saving fish heads and bones is very much the best way to make fish stock. But, you may know that using fatty fish bones and heads like salmon, mackerel etc. is out of the question. Also, removing the eyes and gills from the heads is a must, these parts make a fish stock go bitter!

 

No dought, using a good lobster stock instead of cubes is definitely the best choice.

 

Good luck trying out a homemade bisque! So delicious.. and no butter used!

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

Saving fish heads and bones is very much the best way to make fish stock. But, you may know that using fatty fish bones and heads like salmon, mackerel etc. is out of the question. Also, removing the eyes and gills from the heads is a must, these parts make a fish stock go bitter!

 

No dought, using a good lobster stock instead of cubes is definitely the best choice.

 

Good luck trying out a homemade bisque! So delicious.. and no butter used!

 

Can't wait to try it, but it looks like it'll be a little while.

 

No, I didn't know that about the fatty fish bones (salmon, mackerel, etc.) and eyes and gills.  Thanks for the info, and it's in time since I haven't used the fish parts yet.

~~~

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

Saving fish heads and bones is very much the best way to make fish stock. But, you may know that using fatty fish bones and heads like salmon, mackerel etc. is out of the question. Also, removing the eyes and gills from the heads is a must, these parts make a fish stock go bitter!

No dought, using a good lobster stock instead of cubes is definitely the best choice.

Good luck trying out a homemade bisque! So delicious.. and no butter used!

Bah, I've left the eyes on and it turns out fine. I've never made stock with fatty fish but why not?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post


Bah, I've left the eyes on and it turns out fine. I've never made stock with fatty fish but why not?

 

I'm wondering if time is an issue.  I've watched various chefs, like Morimoto, Chen Kinichi use whole fish heads, eyes and gills included.  But those have all been Iron Chef type affairs where there is very limited time, the stock is made in 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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