What Actually Happens To Soup If You Boil It - Tasting Table (2024)

What Actually Happens To Soup If You Boil It - Tasting Table (4)

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ByStephanie Friedman/

If you've ever made soup at home to warm up during the chilly winter months, you know that many recipes ask you to simmer the pot, sometimes for an hour or more. Recipes like chicken tortilla soup, beef and vegetable stew, and white chili all require the ingredients to cook at a low heat so the flavors can meld together (via Midwest Living). In particular, brothy soups like matzoh ball benefit from a long simmering time, and chicken stock typically needs to simmer for up to eight hours, according to The New York Times.

So how do you know if you're simmering soup the right way? According to Maytag, a simmer is accomplished when a liquid cooks between 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, just below a boil. You'll be able to tell if you're at the right spot because the bubbles rising to the top will be small, and they'll mostly stay underneath the liquid's surface.

With hours-long simmering times, it's tempting to turn up the dial on your stove and bring your pot to a boil. But before you do so, it's important to understand how that will affect the ingredients in your soup.

Boiling soup leads to mushy veggies and tough meat

What Actually Happens To Soup If You Boil It - Tasting Table (5)

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Since boiling food brings it to a higher temperature, it's easy to think that it's a good way to cook your soup faster -– but boiling soup can backfire. According to Patch, boiling soup can make your vegetables fall apart, and your meat overcooked and tough. Boiling causes rapid movement for the food in the pot, which allows your ingredients to bump into each other and start to break down, Bake Instinct explains. While a simmer creates enough movement to release flavor, it's still slow enough that your ingredients will remain intact.

Boiling can also reduce too much liquid, which isn't what you want when it comes to soup (via Boss the Kitchen). While some recipes may tell you to bring your pot to a boil, they'll likely say to immediately turn the temperature down to a simmer afterward. In addition to tenderizing tougher foods, like meat or dried vegetables, simmering a soup gives the ingredients time to absorb the deliciously seasoned broth, according to The Kitchn. And to help everything season evenly, Patch recommends cutting your meat and vegetables into evenly sized pieces.

So although it may sound appealing to quickly boil your soup, try to resist temptation and leave it at a simmer — it will be worth the wait.

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What Actually Happens To Soup If You Boil It - Tasting Table (2024)

FAQs

What Actually Happens To Soup If You Boil It - Tasting Table? ›

Boiling soup leads to mushy veggies and tough meat

What kind of change is boiling water for soup? ›

Here, a combustion reaction takes place. Freezing water to make ice cubes, melting gold to make jewellery and boiling water for soup are examples of physical change since, only a change in physical state takes place.

Does soup go bad if you keep boiling it? ›

Unless you're putting in tremendous amounts of water and boiling it all off I wouldn't expect the metals to accumulate much. The idea is that people are constantly eating it not that it would sit there for months until you feel like soup again. If you add ingredients with toxins that are heat stable, yes.

Does boiling soup reduce water? ›

Simmering and Boiling

"And two, water escapes in the form of steam, reducing the amount that was originally in the pot."

Does simmering soup longer make it taste better? ›

The longer the stock cooks, the more flavorful your soup will be.

What changes happen to water when it is boiled? ›

When boiling occurs, the more energetic molecules change to a gas, spread out, and form bubbles. These rise to the surface and enter the atmosphere. It requires energy to change from a liquid to a gas (see enthalpy of vaporization). In addition, gas molecules leaving the liquid remove thermal energy from the liquid.

Does boiling water change the flavor? ›

But as soon as we boil it, the dissolved air leaves the water, giving it a flat taste. For example, oxygen dissolves in water in a better manner in cold water than in hot water. Boiling proves to be effective at removing most of the oxygen from water. After cooling down, the boiled water tastes different.

What happens when you boil soup? ›

Boiling soup leads to mushy veggies and tough meat

While a simmer creates enough movement to release flavor, it's still slow enough that your ingredients will remain intact. Boiling can also reduce too much liquid, which isn't what you want when it comes to soup (via Boss the Kitchen).

Does boiling soup get rid of bacteria? ›

To be completely safe, you'll have to boil the soup vigorously for 10 minutes. Doing this will not only kill off any active bacteria, it will also inactivate -- but not destroy -- botulinum spores.

How long to boil soup to reduce? ›

The precise amount of time necessary to achieve a reduction with your desired consistency depends on the type of liquid you're reducing, the volume of liquid you begin with, and the conditions under which you cook it. Most reductions require 15-30 minutes.

What not to put in soup? ›

The Worst Things to Put in Your Soup
  1. By Sara Butler. If there's one good thing about fall and winter, it's soup. ...
  2. Heavy Cream. Heavy cream creates an inviting texture for soups but that's where its positive contributions end. ...
  3. Juice. ...
  4. Turkey Bacon. ...
  5. Cheese. ...
  6. Croutons.

Is 5 day old soup ok to eat? ›

Most soups can only last in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 days until they risk going bad, so make sure you place your cooled vegetable soup promptly in the freezer before this point. Make sure your soup lasts well by placing it in an airtight freezer-safe container.

What chemical change is boiling water? ›

Boiling water is a physical change because the gaseous water produced is chemically identical to the liquid water i.e both of them have the same molecular structure of the water.

What phase change is boiling water? ›

As a liquid boils, it is undergoing the liquid to gas phase change. In order to do this, the intermolecular forces present in the liquid state must be overcome.

Is heating soup a physical or chemical change? ›

Sample answer: Heating canned soup is a physical change. By heating the soup, I am adding thermal energy to make it hot, but I am not changing the substances in the soup into other substances. Toasting bread involves a chemical change.

Is boiling water a permanent change? ›

During the boiling of water, it converts to water vapours. It can be cooled again to get liquid water. So boiling of water is an example of reversible change.

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