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Monday, March 24 2008

It's nearly dinnertime. The family is beginning to gather. The soup smells great. Everyone is anticipating a great meal. You taste the soup, and it's Drab. Lifeless. Blah. What now?!

Don't worry; here are some secret ingredients you can add to your soups at the end of the cooking process that will take them from dull to delicious. These secret Soup Savers are generally items already in your pantry. They can used to zip up sauces and gravies too.

Lemon Juice - good in almost any non-creamy soup, especially chicken soup and bean soup.

Balsamic Vinegar - just a few drops can add amazing depth.

Wine- red or white depending on your soup.

Worchestershire Sauce

Tomato paste - a tablespoon or so of tomato paste can balance saltiness and create more interesting flavor. Of course, the old standby for oversalting is potatoes.

Cognac or brandy

Honey

Cinnamon - try in spicy soups and tomato soups.

Nutmeg - good in creamy soups, but in tomato-based soups.

Boullion cube - if the soup is just a bit weak, this is not a gourmet ingredient, but it might do the trick.

A few chopped anchovies - chop them up well; your soup won't taste fishy.

Some of these Soup Savers can be used in combination. Honey, cognac and a dab of tomato paste can really add depth to many clear soups, particularly chicken.

Beans benefit from lemon or vinegar, but don't add any acids to the beans until they are cooked. The beans won't become tender if you add lemon juice, vinegar or even tomatoes early in the cooking process.

Remember to add a bit at a time and taste, taste, taste. The trick here is to experiment to see what works best for your tastes. Consider adding a Soup Saver to a small sample bowl if you have never tried it in that particular soup before.

You don't have to save these Soup Savers just for failures. Incorporate them into lots of different recipes to add a new dimension of taste to your meals, and enjoy!

Barbara O'Brien is an author, cook and mother of two young chefs. She enjoys helping other people make the most of time in the kitchen. Find kitchen science experiments, safety tips, recipes and more at http://kids-cook.com

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 02:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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