One of my closest friends is, what I would call, a food purist. What I mean by that is that he does not like to combine flavors. For instance, he would consider a steak, served with béarnaise sauce, to be a waste of a steak.
I, on the other hand, love to combine flavors. If I may, I’d like to quote Remy, the lead character from the movie Ratatouille. “Each flavor was totally unique. But combine one flavor with another, and something new was created.”
Last week, I wrote about salt and its use to enhance flavors. This week, I’m going to talk about combining flavors, specifically, putting toppings onto your soup. Not only does this create a new, more complex, flavor profile but oftentimes it adds a texture contrast as well.
Now more often than not, the soups I offer already have a complex flavor and are in need of no further toppings. Take Beef Barley for example. The combination of seared beef, vegetables, beef stock and barley all simmered together, lends itself to a complex flavor profile, along with a textural complexity that requires nothing more other than a little salt, if you prefer.
However, due to the nature of this business, and the inability to provide the accompanying toppings of other soups, I will list some suggestions below.
While all of my soups are delicious without anything needing to be placed on the top, I encourage you to try out different things and please let me know what you did and how it worked out.
Welcome to my new SoupManBob Blog!
Having worked in the restaurant business for about half of my life, and cooking for friends and family, I have discovered one consistency; food is a very personal matter.
Seasoning is an added complexity. I enjoy my food very well seasoned and spicy. While my ‘spicy’ may be too hot for some, for others, it’s rather tame.
Taking these things into consideration can present a challenge to a chef, as we must balance the flavors that we like, while keeping in mind that not all consumers are created equal.
Salt is one of the biggest complexities when it comes to seasoning food for others because of the wide spectrum of preferences. Some people are restricted to a low sodium diet, while others like me, prefer a bit of a heavy hand.
Believe it or not, salt enhances the foods natural flavor like nothing else, however, too much can ruin your dish.
Whenever I am making soup to be sold, I always err on the side of caution and under salt. This, in my opinion, effects the finished flavor but the end user can always add salt to their bowl.
So when you’re sitting down to eat a delicious bowl of my soup, have a taste first, then adjust it to your own personal liking. You may find that it is perfect as is, or you may find that it’s missing something. If it’s missing something, may I suggest that you add a bit of salt.