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Nov 14, 2009 05:49 AM

urgent - making soup

I'm in the middle of making a carrot soup in which the recipe calls for 1/4 long grain rice. The only rice I have is arbarrio - do you think this would this be okay to sub?? Oh, I just found some basmati. Maybe I should use that instead?

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  1. it's Gourmet. Just make sure you cook the rice through......especially if you intend to puree and make it a *cream of* type soup.

    1. I've only used Arborio for risotto, but one of the distinctive reasons to use arborio is because of the starch it releases during the risotto method which creates that amazing creamy texture. I would imagine that more starch would be released into your carrot soup using arborio, and seeing at that is all that you have, i'd say go for it.

      14 Replies
      1. re: hpman247

        okay but I just found some basmati - do you think I should use that instead??
        thank you!!!

        1. re: millygirl

          Well basmati has that distinctive aroma, and is a long grain rice unlike arborio. I would probably use the basmati simply because it's "closer" to what you should be using.

          1. re: millygirl

            I'd use the basmati, just because it's a fragrant rice. Sounds like a winner with carrot soup.

            For future reference, in soup, starches are generally interchangeable -- the differences among varieties of rice, in particular, are going to be minimized in a big pot of soup. Or at least, there's no need for a trip to the store! :)

            1. re: millygirl

              IMO, milly, if I wanted to be "truer" to the recipe, I'd use the Basmati, which is a long grain rice.

              The long grain rice kernels will stay more starchy and distinct than shorter grains such as Arborio.

              It really depends on what you want the finished soup to be like. Either will be fine, but as fourunder and hpman pointed out, the Arborio will be "creamier" and give some of that quality to the soup. The Basmati grain will retain more firmness and separation from the soup. Both could be delicious--your choice!

              1. re: Normandie

                The whole thing is going to be pureed in the blender afterwards but I do want it to be rich and creamy. I might just go completely crazy and do half and half?

                1. re: millygirl

                  Now *that* sounds exactly like the type thing I would do...which might be good or bad, LOL--I don't know; I think some of our more expert cooks here could tell us.

                  It makes sense to me, though, because you could get some of the creaminess the Arborio will lend to the soup, plus enjoy the firmer bit of the separated grains of rice that the Basmati offers.

                  Not for this batch, but for a little project later on so that you can see first-hand the differences between rice varieties. Pick a soup you wouldn't get tired of having a few times. The first time, make it with the rice variety the recipe recommends. The following week, make it Arborio only; the next week, Jasmine; the following week, Basmati. Try making it with white long grain "American" rice; then, brown rice, so on so forth. Try not to change anything about the soup each time you make it except for the rice varieties. That would give you a chance to see how each type behaves in soup applications.

                  But for today, I say, sure, mix 'em up!

                  1. re: Normandie

                    ooh, Normandie. . . i might use jasmine rice in an asian-style broth soup, but it really does add a floral note to foods that can be really weird/jarring with some herbs and vegetable flavorings. i would not try to use this type of rice in an italian-style soup with rice, for example. otherwise i think it's great to mix and mach rices, but the fragrant ones, gotta be careful imo.

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      milly said she's making a carrot based soup today, though, kitten. I think that might be nice with the Jasmine... What do you think?

                      Sometimes (in my more disorganized moments) all I've had on hand in Jasmine. Now, obviously, I can't remember *everything* I've served it with, but I don't recall any jarring conflict. But that's a good point that you make, because others certainly might have. Everybody's tastes (and olfactory senses, I guess) are their own. So that's a good thing for milly to watch for if she does experiment with some of these different types.

                      1. re: Normandie

                        I can't count how many times I've used jasmine when I was out of plain long grain rice. Then again I love jasmine rice, but I certainly have never had any over powering floral notes and I do consider my nose to be pretty sensitve. Perhaps I'm used to the flavor though and it might not be as well received to another person.

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          Well...I do think sometimes we can become sensitized to flavors and fragrances if we're exposed to them for a long time. When it comes to food....although we're probably not going to sit there and just smell it for hours straight (other than chocolate, of course, LOL), I think some things can lose their impact if we eat them repeatedly. All that said, my experience with the Jasmine has been the same as yours. I can certainly smell its uniqueness when I handle it, but I simply don't remember any flavor or scent conflict. But that could also be due to the type things I tend to cook, chef. ?????

                        2. re: Normandie

                          re carrot soup, i dunno! i guess i'd be pedantic and say that i'd use the jasmine rice if i started the whole soup out with canola/vegetable oil, and that if i was starting with olive oil, i wouldn't. if there is butter *with* cream in the soup i'd use any other rice before jasmine, but if the soup is with butter and *no* cream, carrot and rice puree i think jasmine could work.

                          to the original question i personally would use all basmati. arborio, being the quintessential risotto rice, is very starchy and might give a more gluey texture than you'd like when pureed. since i don't know for sure the quantity of rice called for though, i'm speculating about this. in a different type of soup that won't be completely pureed, i think the small globby arborio kernals might be nice.

                          1. re: soupkitten

                            I think your first paragraph brought up another good lesson, which is...sometimes the answer depends on what else we're using in the soup (or any dish, for that matter, when we're talking about how ingredients behave together).

                            Could you tell me the reasons behind your second sentence in that paragraph (re the butter, cream and Jasmine)? And please know I'm not questioning you in a critical manner; I think I could learn something. I love making soups, but I could certainly stand to learn more about making them from someone who has more experience.

                            1. re: Normandie

                              Milly-- glad the soup turned out well!

                              Normandie-- well i don't make that many soups with rice, now that i think about it.

                              for me the floral notes of jasmine rice is very refreshing and the flavor of this rice can bring out herbal and astringency/citrus notes in other foods-- that's what makes it ideal for many east asian preparations. basmati is also a delicious fragrant rice but i think basmati's flavor brings out nut flavors like almond and dark spice flavors like cardamom. if what's wanted in the soup is a more basic starch property (for pureeing) and a neutral flavor, i'd be worried that the fragrant rices might play up other seasonings and flavorings in a way that might be distracting and clashing-- i think jasmine's astringency might be unpleasant particularly with cream, which carries flavors due to fat content, and make the dairy taste sour, or it could make bitter elements like greens or garlic taste more bitter. does this make sense? i think that it's usually subtle but sometimes in soups you can get lingering off flavors that are difficult to fix without muddying the pure flavor of the main ingredients.

                              i like the idea of using different rices in different soups, but i don't think all rices are interchangeable for all preparations. i'd probably use more neutral flavored rices in soups or choose a more flavorful rice specifically for its flavor profile in a certain recipe, and save the fragrant rices for presentations that highlight their unique characteristics-- some of them are very special and expensive, after all. if you don't have anything else on hand it's another subject of course. that's where we all sometimes get some neat culinary ideas :)

                              1. re: soupkitten

                                Thanks for posting that for me, kitten. Yes, even though I've never noticed a particular conflict, the principles behind what you're saying do make sense to me. In practice, who knows why I haven't noticed it? Perhaps serendipity? Meaning, maybe I've just by accident put some of the rices we've been talking about in the "right"--or at least "not wrong"--combinations with other ingredients.

                                First of all, I certain concur about the different natures in flavor of Basmati and Jasmine, etc.

                                I understand your point about fats, and you mentioned cream in particular, carrying flavors. I had an unpleasant experience with soup a couple of years ago. It didn't involve rice or cream, but I think the premise of compatibility is the same. I can't remember the details, but I came across a recipe for a turkey soup that didn't require the addition of stock. It called for the simmering of turkey meat and veggies in a certain variety of white wine (don't recall which but it was a sweeter wine that I would normally be drawn to), a few whole cloves and a quartered apple, which was removed before serving. This soup was heavenly. We all loved it. The guys, hubby and stepsons, ate all the turkey and veggies out of it. I was left with about two quarts of the liquid after, and the soup had been such a success that I decided to save the liquid and use it for stock for other poultry or veggie soups. Well--that was that last night that it tasted "heavenly". I tried the "stock " with two other soups in the next couple of weeks and they were HORRIBLE. And it wasn't that that liquid had turned or gone bad. But both the clove and apple taste had carried so well, and were so cloying with the sweetness of the wine in the background, that they overwhelmed the subsequent soups and besides which, they were all wrong--too sweet and too heavily perfumed. So even it it's not an exact parallel, I can understand what you're saying in general.

            2. go ahead and use either basmati or arborrio and like the other response, make sure you cook the rice all the way through.

              2 Replies
              1. re: epabella

                Thank you all.

                The soup is finished and tastes wonderful! I'm even inclined to say it's my best batch yet. For those that care - I decided to go with straight basmati. The soup has no cream but does contain butter. It turned out beautifully rich, smooth and creamy. I can't wait to serve it later this evening.

                Thank you again Chowhounds. I thought perhaps my query was silly (as in I should know the answer) but once again I am blown away by the keen and generous responses. I don't know what I would do without you folks.

                1. re: millygirl

                  I'm so happy it was a success, milly. Something so soul-satisfying about a lovely, delicious soup.

              2. I haven't read all of the responses so forgive me if I'm repeating what someone else has already said. Arborio is a short grain rice and not an equal trade out for long grain rice, but....! One of the things I do NOT like about long grain rice is that it does not reheat well; it gets hard in the center as if undercooked. Arborio and other short grain rices (including Japanese rice, aka gohan) doesn't do that, so it might be an improvement if you plan on having enough soup to reheat in the future.

                I would not substitute basmati or jasmine rice simply because they have an aromatic flavor of their own they will feed into the soup. If this is your first time making the soup, I suggest following the recipe so you know what it's supposed to taste like for future reference. Then you might try the basmati or jasmine. They're very very similar.

                EDIT" I SHOULD have read all the way to the bottom! You've finished the soup. Glad it all turned out well.

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