To Purée or not to Purée - Soups, That Is
Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:59 AM
And I'm wondering about serving it just like it comes out of the pot? Of course I'd remove the ham hocks and add the meat on those trotters back to the soup, but I wouldn't purée the soup.
Or, to be a bit more sophisticated, I can run the soup through a mill or blender to serve it as a fine purée - and make a garnish out of perfectly diced ham or crispy bacon bits - something along those lines.
I guess the same question could be asked about any number of soups made from pulses or legumes. Bean soups, lentil soups, etc.
Normally, at home, I'm pretty lazy and just serve the soup as it is. But when traveling recently, we had some fine vegetable soups and legume soups that were served as purées and they were delicious. And they taste like a whole different thing, all smooth and almost airy.
Anyway, which do you prefer?
Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:05 PM
Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:06 PM
But if you just make this for yourself and family, why not try both and compare? I can't imagine it would taste any different, but maybe blending/pureeing will mix the flavors together even more? Mine taste different since I would add butter or cream after pureeing, which doesn't work that well with a watery soup.
It's also a different presentation, to me a blended soup with a little bit of garnish is more "fine dining" and a soup like in your photo speaks rustic to me. I love both, so I don't care, but at a fancy restaurant or if you make a multi course fancy dinner, the blended one is probably the way to go. A drizzle of olive oil or cream on top, etc. If you serve a crunchy roast with roasted vegetables, I'd go rustic.
Now I want to make that side by side comparison myself!
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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:33 PM
Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:48 PM
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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:05 PM
Last night's soup was pumpkin, blended. I don't think I would have liked the broth (which was just the cooking liquid from the vegetables) with pieces of pumpkin floating. But there are soups that work well unblended.
Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:54 PM
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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:13 PM
Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:48 PM
Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:50 AM
Your split pea and ham hock soup, I certainly wouldn't purée. Some other soups half-and half; yet others require a full purée.
Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:21 AM
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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:58 AM
I don't understand the "half and half" theory. If I'm going for a purée, then I want the whole darn thing served as a purée, otherwise it's still just a rustic soup, no?
In any event, what I ended up doing with this batch was to run it through my food mill, in theory making a lovely purée. However, there was still some tiny textural thing going on after doing this so to make a totally smooth purée, I think the soup needs to be run through the blender first and then through a food mill, or maybe even a chinois.
Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:51 PM
The split pea soup you ask about - personally I would not purée it. I would prefer that one the way it is as shown, even in the most high-falutin' restaurant - just serve it on elegant fine china in that case. :-)
I've made a pea soup with a specific German-family heritage (which I learned from a former colleague) using dried whole green peas** (skin-on) [i.e. NOT split pea] with carrots, chunked potatoes, ham hocks etc and the soup is specifically cooked such that the soup is "done" when the peas just begin to show the suggestion of splitting (and some of the skins are now floating off the peas into the still largely clear broth).
**(boiled in a saucepan for a short while then allowed to steep, covered, for a sufficient time before draining and cooking in another pot in fresh water with the other stuff)
Chinese-type soups: These are *seldom* smooth soups equivalent to "purées", in my mind, especially savory ones. I personally would not do almost any of them in a way other than "chunky". I posted some recently on the soups, dinner, lunch threads. Some sweet "dessert soups" (e.g. red bean or, especially, almond tea) might be closer to "smooth" soups.