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Old 12-14-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
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How to keep herbs from floating to the top of soup?

I made a stock from the bones of the thanksgiving turkey yesterday, it slow cooked in the crockpot for a day, put it in the fridge, skimmed off the fat and put it in the crockpot again with some leftover turkey, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery. I threw in some rosmary, sage, a few other herbs and spices. Well, unfortunately, the rosmary, sage and other leafy herbs (though well crushed) keep rising to the top. Is there any way to get them to mix in the soup?

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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No
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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Think really, really, tiny little anchors.

Seriously, once the herbs are cooked into the stock, the flavor is infused. At that point, it doesn't matter if they float on the top, sink to the bottom, or scuba dive somewhere in between. You can strain them off if you don't like the look.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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If it's a problem, you just put them into a cheesecloth bag and remove it when the soup's done. Or, if you have the herb garden, you keep them as whole sprigs and tie them together and, again, take them out when it's done. The term for either is bouquet garni, although the tied bundle is usually what's intended. If you cook it for a long time, there's not much flavor left in the plant matter anyway.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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Hmmm. Okay. It's mostly the fact that it looks rather bad with it all at the top in that manner. Plus, one of the people sitting down to the table tonight is a very visual eater who is convinced she hates all seasonings and herbs, yet as long as she doesn't know they are there, loves it. If she sees the herbs in the soup, it will be an awful terrible thing, but if she doesn't, she'll love it. So I was hoping they would mix in well enough.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:14 PM   #6
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Tell her those are "flavor bits.

Sometimes, what they think it is works. We told the kid the fish we were having was "roughy shark." Kids like biting sharks, so he ate is when he wouldn't eat other fish. I think he was about 19 before he discovered orange roughy wasn't a shark.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Teenager, not a young child unfortunately. Young enough to not be able to accept that taste was the result of herbs and spices, old enough to not be fooled by tricks, and able to backtrack and say "That's probably why it tasted so off."
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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All you can do in the future is to skim the herbs off the top before serving.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Put your herbs in a muslin, or cheesecloth pouch, as was suggested previously, or in a teaball. The will allow the herb flavors to flavor the soup, and all the leaves/stems will be contained in the pouch/ball for easy removal.

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