Think it might have been the basil....any ideas on how to leach out the bitter taste so I don't have to dump the soup?
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Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
Not sure about actually leaching out the bitterness, but wonder if adding some lemon juice might help to offset it.
I add a teaspoon of sugar to offset bitterness And then some extra salt to offset the Sweetness of the sugar. It's a couple of steps but works perfect every time.
This suggestion to add sugar and then.salt worked like a charm for a batch of hummus to which some very strong-tasting tahini had given a bitter note. It erased the bitterness, and the sugar coudn't be tasted. A happy side effect was that it made the lemon juice a touch brighter.
Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52
Adjusting the seasoning could help too
Thanks, everyone. Letting it sit overnight to see what happens.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
It's hard to answer without knowing the other components of the soup. But just a note, in Italy "bitter" is actually a desirable taste. Bitter greens in particular.
If I've overseasoned a soup, I sometimes add a potato or two, diced small, and cook soup some more til potato is soft. That works for absorbing some of the extra seasoning - maybe it works for bitterness, too.
Unfortunately, it's a culinary myth that a potato will absorb excess salt -- or capsaicin -- or anything else you've added too much of. Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, author of What Einstein Told His Cook, explains (edited for clarity):
Potatoes will soak up salty water but they don't selectively extract salt out of the water. Would you be surprised if a sponge placed in salt water came out tasting salty? Of course not. The concentration of salt in the water -- the amount of salt per quart -- is not affected.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Merrill's lemon recommendation seems to have done the trick. We added the lemon, let it sit overnight and sieved it today. That took care of the bitter taste. Thanks so much for all your help!
I found out afterwards that cruciferous vegetables (and cauliflower core) and brown onion skins turn stock bitter, hence coming to this site. I added all the suggestions, to include fresh lemon juice, salt, sugar, and some pepper, and not only did it get rid of the bitterness, it added to the complexity of the stock. Thanks everyone!
Just another suggestion, acidity to counter bitterness can come from other sources too: vinegar, whey, pickle/sauerkraut juice, tamarind juice, pomegranate molasses etc. More options to tailor the taste of your soup.
I add some crushed pineapple! Little change in the bitter side of my soup. Didn't hear any complains yet! Yummy
Add a small pinch of baking soda stir when the broth starts to foam on top skim off the top then add a pinch more of baking soda and stir in soup
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