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Old 01-12-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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I agree that you definitely have to be careful with the amounts of both carrots &/or parsnips you add to soups &/or stews.

Both are "sweet" vegetables, & too many (especially parsnips) can add a cloying sugar-like sweetness to any type of soup or stew - whether meat or poultry. In fact, while I do enjoy parsnips as a vegetable on its own, I no longer add them to soups or stews because of the sweetness factor. I don't care much for sweet things - am definitely more a "savory/hot spicy" lover - so parsnips taste almost like candy to me.

As far as correcting the sweetness afterwards, you can try to spice things up a bit (if you like that sort of thing), with more herbs, freshly ground pepper or hot pepper sauce, salt or salt blends, etc. But you definitely have to taste frequently as you go because it's just as easy to make things worse than they were before - lol!!
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:56 AM   #12
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I think a dark leafy green like turnip greens

will help or add some more tomato.
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:37 PM   #13
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Carrots are only 2nd to sugar beets as a source of vegetable sugars, and contain both water and fat soluble sugars. You're sweetness was from the carrots. Celery is rather low in sugar so that would not contribute a significant amount, any more than regular storage onions, but celery does contain chemicals that can brighten the flavors and perhaps make the sweetness more pronounced.

When I make a big pot of Italian Gravy (that simmers for about 4-6 hours) I use 2-3 finely minced carrots (they totally dissolve during cooking) instead of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes (about 6 28-oz cans) - something I learned from my Brooklyn-Italian ex-wife.

If you want to try to balance the sweetness without changing the flavor too much ... try adding something acidic (I would go with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar or just plain distilled white vinegar) in small increments (a teaspoon at a time) and let it simmer about 5 minutes before tasting. It's kind of hard to guage the amount of vinegar to add not knowing how much soup you are talking about. You can always add more but you can't take it out if you add too much!
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:07 PM   #14
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I want to thank everybody for all the suggestions and help. This is my first visit to this site and you couldn't have made a person feel more welcome! Even though I'm 55 yrs. old I'm not that great of a cook nor am I very versatile. So, I may be back for more help now that I've found you.

The amount of soup I made is about 6 qrts. You wouldn't think 2 small carrots would produce that much of a sweet taste. Anyway, I will try the vinegar in small increments later on.

Again, thanks so much!

Linda
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #15
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Yep Michael, totally agree.

When making Italian tomato -gravy or sauce, I don't want to get in to that debate-carrots add a lovely flavor and sweetness. And when the gravy, OK the sauce, is done there will be no chunky evidence of it.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #16
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Linda - you're right, 2 small carrots shouldn't have done that. Can you give us the complete recipe to look at? Everything you used?
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:26 PM   #17
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Did you use parsnips?....they're very sweet
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:27 PM   #18
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Here's the ingredients:
steak - don't remember what cut it was, but it was supposed to be good for grilling.
beef bouillon
fresh diced potatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
cabbage
celery - a couple sticks diced
carrots - 2 small
1 can green beans
1 can limas
1 can corn
salt & pepper

I think that's everything.
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:01 PM   #19
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Okay - I see what could be the problem. The can of tomato soup. Most, if not all, canned tomato soups are outrageously sweet. I really think that's what made your soup too sweet - not the 2 carrots (although they certainly didn't help the situation once you added the soup - lol!!!).
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:07 PM   #20
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Yup, most canned tomato soups are loaded with corn syrup and salt.
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