Add Vegetables to Soup After Cooking

I always like the idea of ​​a vegetable soup better than the soup itself. First, there is usually too much for my one-person family, and the vegetables only get smaller with each reheat. (The exception is my stepmother’s beef and vegetable soup, which is mysteriously flawless.) I want a savory broth with delicately crispy, aromatic vegetables cooked to highlight their best qualities, and the only way to do this is to cook the vegetables separately from the broth.

It might sound fussy, and it’s true that I first watched this practice in Barre , a bustling but delicious place. The soup hit the table with two ingredients: perfectly cooked vegetables and (if I remember correctly) small cutlets in a bowl and a small cup of broth. The broth was poured over other ingredients, resulting in perfect bites of properly cooked vegetables floating in a deeply aromatic broth.

It made a lot of sense then, and now it makes sense. Think about it: would you rather have moist mushrooms in your soup, or ones that are browned and fried around the edges? Want overcooked, almost gray spring peas or vibrant green peas? Stewed onions or caramelized ones? Maximizing the flavor potential of each ingredient results in a better end product and I think the extra steps are worth it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add vegetables to the broth for flavor, but carrots or onions that have been simmered for several hours are not the carrots or onions you want to chew on. (Use these soft guys for thickening sauces .)

The soup prepared in this way also warms up very well. Just let the broth or broth simmer, then add a serving of the pre-cooked vegetables and let them heat up again (without rubbing them). You can also add more variety of vegetables if you like to prevent taste fatigue, which is the number one cause of uneaten leftovers.

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