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help, my soup is way too acidic!

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  • kudru Feb 4, 2009 06:03 AM
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I made a bean soup and got a little over-enthusiastic with the sun-dried tomatoes, and the result is waaaay too tangy (and has disturbing flecks of reconstituted tomato in it, but that's a whole other issue...).

Any suggestions on what I can do/add to balance out the acidity?? I know sweetening it up might work, but I'm not really going for the "sweet n sour" thing...

I was thinking maybe blending in some ground up nuts, to thicken it and add richness that might draw away from the sourness.... but not sure if that would work.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. The tomatoes are pretty sweet as well as acidic, so I would caution against using sugar. People here might suggest using a potato to "soak up" the acid, but that doesn't actually work. People try that with salt too. You'll only end up with acidic soup and a cooked potato. The only way you can get rid of the acid is to dilute the soup. Try adding another couple cups of stock or even water. Simmer, re-season and go from there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      I think the potato thing is generally recommended for too much salt, and has something to do with osmosis, which sounds scientific enough for me to believe it might work in that case :) But you're right, that logic would not extend to acid.

      1. re: julesrules

        Doesn't work with salt either.

    2. Might not be worth trying to save the soup. I have over used sun-dried tomatoes in some dishes, and blech!

      3 Replies
      1. re: mcel215

        I'm with you in this camp. I wouldn't want to try any of the "save" options.

        1. re: mcel215

          I should have listened to you ... I tried patching things up and it was just dreadful. I've never eaten poop, but... well, say no more. Served it to guests, too! Oh well, live and learn :)

          1. re: kudru

            My SO and I still laugh about a black bean and quinoa bake I once made....So hard to believe that food could taste THAT bad!

        2. Add some milk to the soup, drizzle with olive oil before serving, and accompany with a crusty bread (not sourdough or pumpernickle).

          I wouldn't add sugar. Have you thought of serving it in a roasted butternut or acorn squash half, scooping off some of the squash with each bite?

          1. thanks for the suggestions.... especially the "don't add more sugar" comments, since I know I would have been tempted to try.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kudru

              one other thought is to sprinkle in a bit of baking soda... it will neutralize the acid. I've done it before, and it works, although with the fizzing it looks like a science experiment about to take over... (I had a really big tomato based dish that was very acidic... I almost had a kitchen volcanoe :-) Just try a little, and taste the result to see if it has become the level of taste you want.

              1. re: vjustice

                Yeah, this was going to be my suggestion, too. Baking soda neutralizes acid, and if you only added a small amount it probably wouldn't ruin the taste - just enough to buffer the dish a bit; you may not even notice the taste, though it might taste a bit saltier.

                1. re: Bat Guano

                  Likewise, this is what I do to my tomato sauce to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Only 1/4 tsp of baking soda is plenty.

                  1. re: ajs228

                    Wow, I never thought of that. Worth a try - chemistry at work! Sounds like doing a test batch would be a good idea :)

            2. Add some roasted corn, or frozen corn.

              1. I'm thinking some umami...Fish sauce, miso, maybe some soy sauce or powdered stock....

                2 Replies
                1. re: galleygirl

                  Yeah, that was my thought with the nuts (don't know if they are umami, though...)

                  1. re: kudru

                    Well, they're kind of like protein negating overacidity; eating protein when you drink too much coffee, for example...Do you eat meat? You could saute some up and simmer it in....

                2. I'd be inclined to go with milk/cream/half & half to tame the sourness. The baking soda is an interesting idea too. And you might try a test batch with a little sugar, just to see -- those sun-dried tomatoes might not have been all that sweet. But whatever you do, experiment in little batches first! Good luck.

                  1. Ancient Chinese secret. A teaspoon of baking soda to start. Watch the fizz! Again to taste.