Fixing the Taste of Vegetable Soup

I'm a vegetarian and recently I got a hold of a large amount of mixed fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.). So I decided to make a large pot of vegetable soup for freezing. I boiled up all my vegetables with a vegetable stock cube plus a small bag of (washed) mixed lentils, split peas, and barley. I let it simmer away till the legumes were cooked through.

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When I tasted the soup, it tasted absolutely revolting. Where did I go wrong? Is there any way I can salvage a very large pot of soup? I hate tossing food away and I can't really afford to. So if I can do something to redeem this soup, I would be very grateful. Any suggestions?

By Cettina from Malta, Europe

October 14, 20090 found this helpful

I think the soup you made may be too bland. Plain boiled veges and legumes can be a bit boring. I always add a can or two of chopped canned tomatoes, with a teaspoon of sugar (to cut the acid of the tomatoes), and I would add some Oregano or Thyme. Not too much, about half to one level teaspoon. Start small, then add more. I'm speaking about dried herbs here.

Use more carrots and celery, as they are the real "taste makers", and put in about 3 or 4 stock cubes for a large pot of soup. It just needs some livening up, that's all. I make minestrone a lot, leaving out the bacon, and it's absolutely delicious. Any cookbook should have a recipe for it, or Google it - there are many different recipes there. I hope this has been of some use to you.

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October 14, 20090 found this helpful

That's the ticket, you need herbs and spices to taste. I did not see onion in the list either.

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October 14, 20090 found this helpful

Never, ever, ever put cabbage and cauliflower in vegetable soup. They are very aromatic with plenty of sulforaphanes that will make the whole pot smell and taste horrible. Cook these cruciferous vegetable by themselves. There is not a fix for this pot of soup, sadly. Susan in Omaha

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October 14, 20090 found this helpful

In addition to the other suggestions, lentils and barley cook at a different rate than vegtables. They need a much longer cooking time and the timing has to be that you put the veggies in 10 to 15 minutes before the barley and lentils are done, so that every part is ready at the same time.

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October 14, 20090 found this helpful

Add some Italian spices like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and some crushed fennel. A little balsamic vinegar is good too as it replaces salt.

I don't think you'll have to throw it out. just season it a little. Being a vegetarian doesn't mean that you have to give up taste. Vegetables and legumes are so good together, you just have to find a good combination for you. I love lentils, tomatoes and zucchini together with all the italian spices, plus it is also good over rice or pasta.

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October 14, 20090 found this helpful

The most successful ingredient in any vegetable soup is Chicken broth. The kind you make yourself With pieces of fatty chicken. Be sure to add Bay Leaf, onion and celery. Salt and pepper. This should fix any vegetable soup.

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October 15, 20090 found this helpful

You can use the tomato soup that comes in a box as a base. It adds some taste & vitamins. Sometimes you can buy vegetable stock that way - or I would add more then one vegetable cube - maybe 4 of them. I use the spice called "Italian Blend" in my soup; a fair amount, maybe a teaspoon of it. Like the earlier poster, I wouldn't add too many of the strong vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, etc. I usually add a few spears of broccoli towards the end of the cooking. Cabbage, however, adds great taste. After the soup is nearly done, I add beans. I don't cook them in the same pot with the soup, but I do add macaroni or spaghetti to the soup to cook. Good luck with your soup.

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October 15, 20090 found this helpful

You could possibly try adding canned tomatoes to it with pepper - if it was just too bland.

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October 15, 20090 found this helpful

Lipton onion soup packets. The flavor is concentrated, and dilutes and absorbs into other foods rather quickly. That and some tomatoes and potatoes (which will also absorb excess salt in dishes) and you're good to go!

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October 15, 20090 found this helpful

My Mom's vegetable soup was so good. I asked her one day what she added to her soup and it was a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup. It really adds a lot of flavor.

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October 16, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you so much for all the suggestions. Being vegetarian, chicken is not an option but the other suggestions of adding herbs, and a pack of dried tomato soup sound great. I actually forgot to add onions and potatoes so that could be another factor in the taste. possibly the problem was too much cabbage and cauliflower(which I will now onwards cook separately) and I will add some pasta to give it more body. thank you all again.

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October 31, 20090 found this helpful

Sometimes it helps to "fry" the shredded cabbage in a little butter or garlic butter or just steam a little to soften the flavor before adding to the soup. I steam garlic with dried Italian herbs and then mash it, add to butter and then add some more herbs and a lot of fresh grated Parmesan and Romano cheese. I then put it in silicone ice cube trays & fridge to harden, and then pop out & stick in freezer for later use.

You can also put some toothpicks in garlic cloves and stick them in a glass of water {or a plastic cottage cheese tub, just cut diamond shapes in the lid and set the garlic cloves in them} and use the green garlic tops to add a fresh garlic taste to your dishes. Change the water every few days and if the roots grow too long just trim them!

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