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Can I salvage my soup?

  • c

Last night I made potato-leek soup--I cooked the leeks in bacon fat, added chicken broth and the potatoes to cook 'til tender, added some salt and more pepper and pureed it when it was done and it tasted like---nothing at all. I still have a lot left over in the fridge. What can do when I heat it up to make it taste like SOMETHING (perferably something good). Where did I go astray? I would have thought that bacon and leeks would be pretty flavorful and I really can't figure out what went wrong.

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  1. Not sure exactly what the problem is. You say it tastes like "nothing at all." Do you mean its too watery or thin? Perhaps you used too much stock in relation to potato. Given what you've done, I can't see why it wouldn't turn into soup. Maybe just keep cooking it (slowly) for a bit and add some salt. Soups tend to take a little while for the flavors to "marry." I would a) have a homebrew/don't panic, b) add some salt unless you think it will become too salty, and c) cook it on low for a bit longer, until it really thickens. Another thing you could do is to melt about 2 tablespoons butter, add a tablespoon flour, cook for a few minutes then add that too the soup. It helps to keep the soup from separating when its not being stirred.

    1. Maybe the potatoes themselves don't have much flavor. A bit of cream, a generous amount of fresh herbs, coarse salt and pepper could help. Or do what I did the other night and roast some orange beets, carrots and parsnips and add the roasted veggies to the brew, simmering just a bit to marry all the flavors. I tend to not make potato/leek only soup because it often doesn't have enough flavor for me w/o adding lots of fat.

      1. Potato leek soup can tend to be mildly flavored. A day in the fridge, cream or milk, fresh herbs, and possibly more salt & pepper should wake it up.

        -Nick

        1. Try stirring in a dollop of sour cream into the bowl. Or you could add cream. A sprinkle of fresh snipped chives or chopped green onion tops will also help.

          If it's still really bland, make sure you've salted it enough. Hate to state the obvious, but lots of people don't realize how salty we expect soup to be. When they make it themselves, and actually see what the volume of salt is, they stop short of seasoning it the way they'd get it if they ordered out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Christine

            good point. i remember once on sara moulton's call-in cooking show, someone called in saying she didn't like to use salt and asking what to substitute. sara just looked dead at the camera and said "you just gotta use salt." of course, she acknowledged that some people have health problems that prohibit it, but barring that, there's no substitute.

            i was never a fan of sara, but i respected her for saying that.

          2. Probably all it needs is salt.