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Is it normal for people to be so turned off by puree soups?

I've always been pretty big on soups, purees have long been my favourite style of soup to make. Though whenever I make one, half of my family seems to be morally offended by what I've done, acting as if soups without chunks aren't soup at all.

It just seems strange to me that people would care so much about the texture of a soup, especially when doing a puree seems to enhance the flavour to a certain degree.

It might just be that puree soups are a sort of new concept to my family, though I notice that my Little Brother and Dad are the complainers while my Mom and Older Sister are the praisers, I wonder if it's sort of a man thing then.(Though I am a guy)

Does anybody else seem to run into this problem?

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  1. I like pureed soups while my spouse prefers chunky. I have solved this dilemma by using an immersion blender to puree some of the soup while leaving in some chunks. You still get the nice mouth-feel of a smooth pureed soup (especially if beans or potatoes are involved), yet some chunks remain. This keeps us both happy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: visciole

      I often do end up doing that, though it irritates me to no end. I'm something of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking, and have trouble bringing myself to potentially throw off the balance in terms of ingrediant ratios.

      I know it's silly though of course since the stock absorbs the majority of flavour from the solid ingrediants, so at worst the texture is the only thing that might be thrown off to a certain degree.

      1. re: Regnes

        Just a thought but, before pureeing, if you transferred half/a third/whatever to another pot could you do two versions to satisfy both preferences (instead of leaving the whole batch partly chunky).

    2. Maybe they had a tramatic episode with baby food.

      1 Reply
      1. Too much like baby food.

        1. Texture is as important a part of what makes a food good, as is smell, sight and of course taste.
          That being said, you also have to realize that food has an emotional context too. People feel differently about food, some are not impressed by much, it's fuel, others love all aspects of it, dining, cooking, reading. There is no normal. Fuel eaters are going to look at food in a very different way from people who like to cook to perfection.

          'One man's meat is another man's poison'

          1. I find pureed soups to be completely snore worthy. Food to me is texture and flavor, and even though I'm a total glutton, I have to say that I will turn up my nose at a smooth puree. It's just not worth the calories most of the time, and somehow, psychologically, doesn't seem like it's filling.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Vetter

              Pureed soups make me want to hurl, as do "cold" soups! YUK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me a vegy and meat loaded soup ANY day!!

            2. The OP asks if it is "normal". A question impossible to answer.

              As with anything else, some people will like, others won't. Simples.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Harters

                Was thinking the same thing regarding 'normal'. Now the real question is, will the predominantly US-centric chowhound get 'simples'?

              2. Funny observation, but I totally understand. I make a particular soup that I love- it contains all things orange- sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash, and made w/ beef instead of chicken broth, usually w/ the heel of parmesan, w/ everything pureed together at the end. Somehow all the flavors just work really well together for me, and I love it. That being said, getting the texture right is soooo important. If it's off even a tiny bit, I can't eat it because the texture is too much like baby food. Exact same flavor, but the texture can make it completely unappealing. It's easy to fix though, as I just water it down a bit and readjust for seasoning, then I'm back in business. Just funny how the texture can make it a no-go.

                1. I love all types of soups including purees. That said, the ingredient that is pureed makes all the difference. If its an ingredient I don't like (most beans, squash, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes) then I won't like the puree. If I do like the primary ingredient (potatoes, corn, asparagus, broccoli, spinach) then I'll like the puree, although, granted, some of them do strike me as over vegetal.

                  My problem is with cream soups. I adore them, but my ball and chain can't abide 'em. Needless to say, whenever she's out of town I load up on cream soups. I sincerely hope that doesn't constitute matrimonial infidelity. ;)

                  1. it's all been said, but i dated a guy once who had this to say of pureed soups: "i like to chew. i cannot chew this. therefore i do not like this."
                    [so i got up, chopped up some sausage chunks and tomato, tossed them in his bowl, and shut him up.]

                    i can respect the baby food/textural thing. out of curiosity, for those of you that don't like pureed soups and/or cold soups, how do you feel about cooked cereals, like oatmeal or cream of wheat, as well as yogurt?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Emme

                      Not to mention gravy, milk shakes and smooth ice cream.

                      1. re: Emme

                        Ooh, I think there's a categorical difference there. Pureed soup is simultaneously savory and smooth textured. Oatmeal and yogurt are most often served sweet. The same would apply to milk shakes and ice cream.

                        Gravy, greygarious, being a condiment of sorts, has its texturey issues ameliorated by the fact that it's used to top things that have a different texture than the gravy. I think you've hit upon something important -- would you eat gravy with a spoon, from a bowl, as a first course? That may be the same sensation a pureed soup hater experiences! ;)

                        I cannot abide cold soup (seriously, shudders and yuck). However, I do really love yogurt, especially when it's homemade, but I strongly prefer it with "stuff" in it -- usually fruit or jam, and then something crunchy. Again, I think it's the sweet/savory PLUS the texture thing.

                        Texture is a major, major issue for me so I sympathize with the pureed soup haters though I'm not one of them! Give me a nice tomato bisque any day!

                      2. I love soups and have them many times a week, but purees are (1) monotonous and (2) too much like baby food. Not experientially worth the calories. I even appreciate a nice cup of broth from time to time, but purees are like anti-soup to me.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Karl S

                          Pureed soups do not necessarily have to contain many calories. I make mine with vegetables, stock, a small amount of olive oil, and potatoes or white beans. They are actually packed with good stuff and very low fat.

                          That being said, if you dislike them, any number or calories is too many.

                          1. re: visciole

                            Your last sentence says it all for me.

                        2. Might want to consider your pureed soups with a nice crusty bread or some tortilla chips or even banana chips. The contrast in texture might make those who do not like pureed soups reconsider.

                          Oftentimes the monotony of the "baby-food" like texture of the soups can be quite a turnoff, but when it's interspersed with something crunchy or chewy it's not so bad.

                          1. I think it's simply a matter of personal taste. While I like all sorts of soups, my spouse prefers chunks in his. Pureéd foods are not something he cares for. No whipped potatoes for him either. I mash potatoes the old fashioned way and leave recognisable pieces of potato in them.

                            1. A good soup is either eaten (nice chunky meat/veg soup)... or drunk (broth). Puree falls into the weird inbetween territory which makes it as satisfying as neither. But water it down a bit and turn it into a cream soup and it's yummy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kajikit

                                Pureed soups are GOOD soups! Not weird, just a different cooking style, geesh. Watering down (yuck) a puree does not make it a cream soup, adding cream makes a cream soup.

                              2. I grew up with broth type soups. Ramen soups, Vietnamese noodle soups, Korean beef soups, Cantonese soups. I am used to how I can drink a lot of my soup without making me full, so that I can still have room to eat the rest of the meal. I suppose I am in the school of needing to bite on things during the meal, and having pureed soup essentially fills me up without giving me the chance to use my teeth...

                                Also, tell me if it makes sense. I'm also used to being able to sip and slurp my clear broths piping hot, it's one of the ultimate comfort foods. Somehow, for the times I am served a pureed soup, either in the restaurant or at someone's place, it is either never piping hot or it turns lukewarm very quickly, never giving me the belly-warming satisfaction. It's just never the same.

                                And then, of course, my partner makes his soups pureed half the time (and the other half, he dices the vegetables), and so I also tend to take my share of it before he blends everything together.

                                1. Goodness- I had no idea there was such a horror of pureed soup.
                                  I'm a big texture-seeker, but hey- if it tastes good and it's pureed, I'll enjoy it. It had better be good, though, and normally I like food with a lot of texture better.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                    I know, I was also surprised to find so much hatred crawling out of the wood work. i love soup of all kinds, could make each meal from soup.
                                    yes I could eat a bowl of gravy. I like my yogurt nicely sour thank you very much, not sweet. And the idea if something crunchy in it , well, that is just ack ack.
                                    And any texture of soup that is served to me not hot is returned to the kitchen to be heated up !

                                  2. jfood would never have thought pureed soups were anything other than creamy goodness, he really loves them. But reading the responses he needs to keep that in mind when he serves them to friends.

                                    and he thinks that smooth is a texture, he loves soft ice cream, milkshakes, and other smoothie type dishes

                                    1. I actually love pureed soups. If there's one on the menu, i am likely to order it. My husband finds them strange, though, because of the texture.

                                      1. I find chunks of things in broth to be really unappealing. A pureed soup looks prettier to me. Since I have issues with tastes and textures of certain vegetables, I really do better with pureed soups.

                                        Some soups I would want chunky though. Soups with meats or noodles shouldn't be pureed. I just like my veggie soups chunky.

                                        But that's what makes horse races.

                                        1. Never thought about this before but I guess it depends on the ingredients. To me veggie soups would be fine, but not if they contain meat. My dear Mother in Law, who was an excellent cook, always made soup from the Christmas turkey leftovers. Just picture the color for one thing! It was pretty bland but I dutifully ate it with the rest of the clan. I think they all liked it but to me it was "eh".