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Old 06-26-2009, 03:42 AM   #1
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Goat Cheese and Brown Rice in Soups =0

I found a vegetable soup recipe that uses heavy cream (a lot of it, too much for me) at the end to give it a creamy consistency and taste. I'd rather not use the heavy cream, because without it the recipe is pretty healthy (cajun trinity + potatoes + water/stock + spices). I'd like to use a tiny bit of goat cheese (2 oz or so) in the soup in place of any cream or whole milk products. Would goat cheese do anything to the stew beside impart its salty, goaty (lol) flavor -- like, thicken it or give it a creamy consistency? If not, I think I could also puree the soup a tiny bit and the starch in the potatoes would thicken the soup for me, right?

Next, if I wanted to add brown rice to this soup, how long would I have to simmer the soup to make sure the brown rice is cooked? 45 minutes or so?

Thanks in advance for the help, you guys are great.

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Old 06-26-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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OK, if you are going to use brown rice be aware that it will absorb a lot of the liquid in your soup. Put it in first and when it seems done, then stir in your goat cheese and let it completely melt. Your soup will be thicker, but thats mostly because you let the rice suck up the liquid.

I haven't used goat cheese in soup before but I can't see that it would be an issue. Just remember to take the soup off the heat before putting the cheese in. That way it will melt nicely and not seize up into clumps.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:25 AM   #3
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Personally, I'd nix the idea of the goat cheese, as it will most likely curdle & ruin the taste/texture. I'd go the puree route myself if you want extra thickness.

As far as the rice, I'd just add & time it per the instructions on the rice package, checking it now & then for tenderness.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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Hey Breezy, I've never used goat cheese in soup, so I don't know. Wouldn't it work much the same as other cheeses? If you take the soup off the heat to stir it in its ok?
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
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I don't think 2 ounces would just blend in - even with the soup removed from the heat. Not to mention 2 ounces is really too small an amount to add any "creaminess" at all to a pot of soup. And adding enough goat cheese to make it "creamy" would turn it overpoweringly "goaty" (plus I still think it would curdle). I think there's an excellent reason why one doesn't see a plethora (if any, for that matter) of soup recipes calling for goat cheese - lol!!!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:35 AM   #6
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Gotcha. I'm glad someone has more expertise than I do here.

Turkeyman, what about using a bit of cream cheese? You can get the lower fat kind and stir it in off the heat to see if that gives you the creaminess.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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My brain is not wrapping around the goat cheese idea very well either! I don't see it melting into a thick consistency...I see it as simply separating and being a mess giving your soup a funny taste and texture. I much prefer Breezy's idea of, before you add the rice, or even after it is cooked, simply using a blender wand to puree part of it. You could also puree part of it in a blender or food processor. I'd much rather get my thickness that way than with the goat cheese this first time. You can always add a bit of goat cheese to an individual bowl to see how it would melt.

Brown rice has a habit of expanding and becoming the star of soup if you aren't careful so you could cook it separately and add as needed, being careful even then, as it will still suck up broth. If you do cook it in the soup just go easy. Cooking time should be on the package.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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I am never sure what people mean by "goat cheese", to me it is like saying "cow cheese" LOL.

There is not much I won't add my chevre to, including soups. My own chevre, or ricotta, or mozzarella, is not a strong flavored cheese at all, in fact, they are a very very mild tasting cheese. A few days ago I added about 6 ounces to a cheddar cheese sauce and it was devine. The goat cheese I added was some chevre that I had buzzed with some fresh garlic. I do add cheeses after taking the food off the heat. My cheeses do melt away and thicken the food product. Store bought cheeses may not behave this way, I have no idea!
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Ah, but Bethzaring, there's a HUGE HUGE difference between adding 2 ounces of goat cheese to a soup & expecting it to not curdle, thicken the pot of soup, & not make it too "goaty"; & making a cheese sauce out of goat cheese. Sauce vs. soup - two different animals. Plus, you're obviously talking about goat cheese you make yourself, not commercial cheese. Again - there's a difference. And I don't think the OP is making his own goat cheese.

You're talking apples vs. oranges.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the expert input Alix, Breezy & Beth -- I have to ask cooks & chefs like yourselves because I pretty much have no idea what I am doing =]. I think I will forego adding the goat cheese into the soup and just eat it on a piece of bread on the side :D.

In my area, goat cheese is just a soft cheese (usually in a plastic tube shape) made from goatsmilk. I call it goat cheese because I've only seen one basic type of goat cheese (minus all those herb and garlic mixed variations) and tons of different "cow's cheese" products (mozarella, cheddar, provolone, parmesan, etc.)

I think for the soup I'll stick with the pureeing route for thickening and add in my brown rice (just a tiny bit, like 1/4c) and see how that goes. Light cream cheese is also a good option if I decide to go the cheesy route once again. Thanks again for the help!
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