Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Lentil soup is too salty


jgm
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently on a visit to a restaurant, I bought several servings of their lentil sausage soup to bring home and freeze. We'd had some that night, and although I found mine a little too salty for my taste, I still just love this soup.

It may or may not be important to note that I routinely eat a diet low in salt - although I don't particularly try to - so that restaurant food often tastes salty to me. My husband said his serving may have been a little salty, but he didn't seem to object to it as much as I did. I know, also, that at least some of the portions I bought came from a different batch of soup.

I thawed out one of the portions today, and found it so salty I couldn't possibly eat it. I'm not interested in returning it; remember that at least part of the problem is ME.

I've thought of cooking more lentils to add to increase the volume of the soup without increasing the salt, and I'm thinking of adding some pre-cooked diced carrots. I think the soup already has carrots in it. I am, however, concerned about making it too sweet by doing that.

Any ideas about what else to add? I don't want to depart too much from the original flavor of the soup.

And if anybody has a "copy cat" recipe for this soup, I'd love to have it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can remembering reading a few years ago (it was probably here on egullet) an idea about adding potato to "save" soups that were accidently oversalted in the kitchen. Supposedly the potato soaks up some of the salt. Can't say I've tried it, but it might be better than adding the carrot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can remembering reading a few years ago (it was probably here on egullet) an idea about adding potato to "save" soups that were accidently oversalted in the kitchen. Supposedly the potato soaks up some of the salt. Can't say I've tried it, but it might be better than adding the carrot.

He took the words right out of my mouth.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the idea of the potato has been debunked. Anything I freeze I go easy on the salt and salt more when I re-heat because I find things seem to get saltier when frozen. I would cook up more lentils in a tasty non-salted broth and add them to the soup.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried this once, a few years ago, on a bean soup that I made, and it didn't seem to make any difference at all. I was surprised, because I expected it to. But it may have been that the soup was SO salty, one potato wouldn't have made much difference. I also put it in as a whole potato. Perhaps some lengthwise slices, which would increase the surface area in contact with the broth, would help.

I think what's going to save this soup, is added ingredients that will expand the volume without changing the flavor much. I may try some spinach; it's pretty mild, but even if it did add a little of its own flavor, it would be compatible with the other ingredients.

I called the restaurant, and the chef could recommend only "a little hot water", but that's not going to do it. The woman I spoke with, however, did tell me it has tomatoes in it, so I may look for some no-salt crushed tomatoes.

Lentils

Spinach

Tomatoes

Maybe that will be enough. I might just throw in some potato slices, just to see if they might help a little, and fish them out again after about 20 minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anna's right about the potato myth -- potatoes don't absorb salt, so adding one wouldn't do anything for the salt level. I think unsalted tomatoes and more lentils, along with unsalted broth or water, is your best bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that lentil soup thickens up so much after cooling that you can add quite a bit of water. I like the spinach idea. Acid like lemon juice or a little vinegar (sherry perhaps) can also take away that oversalty taste. Let us know how it goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I would add rice and water. My thinking is that the rice would absorb the water in the soup so that you could add even more water to thin it out.

I have no idea what the answer to this would be but isn't there some kind of edible substance that would react/bond with the sodium so that it wouldn't register on the pallet? If not, there's a million dollar idea for someone to play with.

:wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was told that all starches absorb salt upon standing. So I guess that's the origin of the potato trick, i.e., put slices of potato in a too-salty dish, then remove them. If you put potato slices in the soup and let them sit for awhile, maybe that would work. I've added (& kept) rice in a too-salty dish, and that helped. From my experience, you have to put a lot of extra starchy food in the dish to decrease the saltiness. I agree with others here, cook up more lentils and add them to the soup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As most have said, adding something complementary to your base that has been cooked with no salt is probably the best fix.

Another approach is to manipulate the balances of other flavour ingredients in the food.

Consider the food as a balance between sweet, sour, salty, piquant/hot (and bitter, but this probably doesn't apply to this particular soup).

Your soup is too heavy on the salt component for your taste.

You can adjust this by adding sweetness, sourness, and/or hotness to correct the imbalance.

The overall volume of the flavour profile will increase (ie. it will be more flavourful or tasty) but the balance will fit your preferences better.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was told that all starches absorb salt upon standing. So I guess that's the origin of the potato trick, i.e., put slices of potato in a too-salty dish, then remove them. If you put potato slices in the soup and let them sit for awhile, maybe that would work. I've added (& kept) rice in a too-salty dish, and that helped. From my experience, you have to put a lot of extra starchy food in the dish to decrease the saltiness. I agree with others here, cook up more lentils and add them to the soup.

I will probably go the lentils route, but if what you say is true, it makes me wonder if it wouldn't work to put some uncooked rice in a tea ball, and let it sit in a pot of soup. Along with the liquid, I would think the rice would soak up a bit of the salt, and then I could add an unsalted broth or stock back in. I might try it, especially if my attempts to fix the soup are unsuccessful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...it makes me wonder if it wouldn't work to put some uncooked rice in a tea ball, and let it sit in a pot of soup

The amt of rice in a tea ball probably wouldn't be enough starch. This is only my guesstimate from times I've tried to correct an oversalted dish with starch. How about trying the potato trick and letting us know about it? That might work better. Somebody told me about the potato trick, I've never done it. Peel and slice one or two potatoes, put them in the soup, heat thoroughly, then let it sit for a couple hrs or more. Remove the potatoes. Perhaps wrap in cheesecloth for easier removal?

Nickrey is also correct about adding other flavors to disguise the salt. Sour and sweet flavors will modify saltiness. However, you'll get a totally different flavor profile in the soup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...