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Old 01-03-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Soups/Stews & Stripping Thyme

Here's a real timesaving tip: If you're making a stew, soup, braise, etc., that calls for thyme & you're using fresh - don't bother stripping the leaves off the stems unless the sprigs are very small/short.

I made a wonderful New Year's Day "Cassoulet" (leftover Xmas roast goose, turkey bacon, turkey kielbasa, wine-poached chicken breast, white beans, etc., etc.) that called for both thyme & bay leaves. It occurred to me that since I was going to have to fish out the bay leaves anyway, I might as well search for the thyme sprigs as well - lol!! I also hate making up little cheesecloth herb bags or tying stuff together if I don't have to.

Tossed the bay leaves & whole thyme sprigs into the simmering white beans, & when they were done, it was easy as pie to find & remove not only the bay leaves, but the thyme sprigs, which were, by this time, completely devoid of all their leaves. All that remained were the now-skeletal stems. It worked great - the beans were nicely well-scented with both the bay & with the thyme, & there wasn't a stray stem in the entire dish.

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Old 01-03-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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I usually stuff them into a tea ball and let it simmer in the soup or stew.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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Don't you just hate it when the bay leaf you can't find is stuck to the back of the spoon?

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Old 01-03-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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Lmao Walt. It happens quite often to me.
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