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Can you SAVE me from this blah soup?

Hi Chowhounders,
So, i made a huge batch of carrot and maple syrup soup. It's basically a pureed carrot soup w/ ginger and garlic and maple syrup (although I used birch syrup). And, it kinds sucks. It's got great ginger notes to it but other than that, pretty blah....it's a vat of pureed carrots.

Any suggestions for how to use this or improve this?
I'm happy to reinvent the soup but would really like some ways to use up the remainder a little more creatively but i'm stuck for ideas.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. Add chicken base or bouillon and make it the basis for a vegetable soup, by adding sauteed onions, mixed vegetables and some ligth cream.

    Mix it with cream and eggs and use it as the liquid for a strata with cheese and ham
    and/or chicken, or a savory bread pudding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      It does have sauteed celery/onions/garlic and chicken stock but still a bit bland and really, just hohum. A friend told me to add coconut milk to thin in out so might try that. I'm intriqued by the strata tho - you don't think the puree would be too thick?

    2. I did this too last winter and was just overwhelmed by the intense carrotness of my concoction. With some of the soup, I thinned it out, added more ginger and used it as my liquid for ginger batsmati rice.

      1. I'd add some sliced carrots back to the soup, along with some orange juice and zest. Then I'd do some halibut marinated in soy sauce, garlic, maple syrup or honey and salt and pepper. Grill it, and serve with the carrots in soup/sauce poured over it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Emme

          Oooh, that sounds magnificent, Emme.

        2. I've had this problem in the past and countered it by adding spices that balance the sweetness with duskier, more savory flavors. You could try curry powder, cumin, or paprika; any of those will add weight and round out the flavor. Alternatively, you could try countering the sweetness with acids like lemon juice or woodsy flavors like thyme or oregano. Finally, adding some plain yogurt to soup already in the bowl (don't heat it) always cuts overly sweet soups in a gorgeous way, to my palate - it adds a tang and mellows the flavor. Adding about 1/4 milk-to-soup ration in the bowl can also accomplish this, if you've also added a bunch of those counterweight spices that I've mentioned. Tinker, taste, see what works and doesn't work for you. Good luck!

          1. In addition to the good suggestions above, you can add a dollop of creme fraiche.

            1. Add in some curry powder and coconut milk.

              1. If it's too sweet some tamari might help and goes well. Maybe some sauteed onions or kelp or dulse or greens (kale, collards, broccoli).

                1. Better Than Bouillion -- BTB is a stock base that gets used at my house to enhance lots of things. Try the veg or chicken version. Also maybe a little lemon juice and zest.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: puzzler

                    Careful w/ the veg BTB - in my experience it leans sweet, because carrot is one of its main ingredients, so it might make the OP's soup even more carroty-sweet. I avoid it when making carrot/butternut squash/sweet potato soups unless I'm cooking for vegetarians, because of that.

                    1. re: puzzler

                      Vogue Veggie Base is another option.

                    2. A little chicken broth, cumin, cayenne, diced tomatoes, and black beans.

                      Or coconut milk, red curry paste, and nam pla. Served over jasmine rice.

                      Orange vegetables, IMO, are just crying out for a little spicy! So whatever you do, don't leave out a bit of hot something -- not to the point where you'd say, "Holy cow, this is spicy," but just enough to leave a little tingle behind.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LauraGrace

                        Thanks for these great suggestions, I'm def going to try the coconut milk/curry paste and black beans suggestion, i've got so much of it left in the freezer, so these are wonderful. thanks.

                      2. Try some fresh squeezed lemon juice - I find that perks up bland soups quite well. And try some spices - I'd go with cumin and cardamon, with a hint of cinnamon and cloves.

                        1. How about some sage and browned bacon.

                            1. Experiment with a cup or so of the soup. How's the salt level? You may be surprised at how much the flavor improves when you hit the right salt level (which may be as high as 1/2tsp per cup).

                              1. I accidentally found this site while looking for a soup recipe I'd made before. I was interested in your "blah" comment as when I'd made roasted carrot with gingr and maple syrup soup before it had been very flavourful, and not too sweet. I also found a recipe which was published recently in an Ausie magazine and I wondered if your'd followed this because if so that could have been the original problem! My friend eventually e-mailed me the original recipe I'd used before and in comparison the recipe I'd used has twice the garlic and ginger and roasts hotter for longer (and specifies the carrots should be browning) which adds to the flavour intensity, especially if you use dark syrup. Given those differences you might just try roasting extra garlic and ginger to puree and mixing that into it.

                                You could use it for the stock /puree in a risotto with maybe some bacon or more roasted garlic/ginger a bit like the basmati rice suggestion. I like the coconut milk idea too.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Binklet

                                  Good points, Binklet. Especially the bacon -- there's hardly anything bacon won't improve. Except dessert...no I take that back -- there is a donut shop here that's famous for their maple-bacon bars. That's a maple longjohn with strips of bacon stuck into the maple icing.

                                  1. re: puzzler

                                    holy crap that sounds good, where is that shop!?? can I assume a longjohn is similar to a crueller?

                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                        Rocket Donuts, 306 W Holly, Bellingham, WA

                                        They call them bars, I call them longjohns.


                                  2. i always use a bit of sherry in carrot/ / squash soups. Then there are the basics of southern cooking that always perk things up a bit -- vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper -- which all can really take many forms, such as pepper vinegar. Try a dab of balsamic, a touch of sugar, some white pepper and possibly chicken boullion??? And possibly a bay leaf!