Michael Ruhlman’s five – the smaller the number, the larger the quantity

So I felt a bit under the weather today, and decided to attack it with the trifecta of warm liquids: broth, tea and soup. Broth from chicken and turkey, that I had in several jars frozen (and putting the crockpot back immediately in order to keep making more so I wouldn’t run out of it). Tea, mostly cammomile, spearmint and eucalyptus, to boost my immune system, and soups. Since I needed something quick and dirty I did not have time to look for new recipes and fell back to two oldies: Butternut Squash and Cabagge and Bacon; and I used the opportunity to try Ruhlman’s fifth rule: acids.

Acids are a tricky component of most dishes, particularly in the Paleo diet. They are used to leach (yes, that’s a perfectly acceptable scientific term) the minerals and other nutrients from bones in stocks, they are used to balance the basicity of some vegetables in dressings, and they can also be used to boost the flavors of soups and creams when the taste is not that bright. However, an excess of them can ruin a perfectly good dish, and it is known that an acid environment within the body can be greatly damaging to our health (which is the reason meat must never be the main component of the diet, because it promotes acidity within the body. No more than a third of your meal should be plenty enough.)

So, following the rule, I decided to add a bit of acid to both of my soups: apple cider vinegar. Mind you, both of them already had it from the stocks I used as base for both soups, but I figured a pinch on each would not harm the dish greatly.

The effect on the Butternut Squash soup was actually not that great. I didn’t feel any change in the flavor but a distinctly lack of salt, which I am sure was not caused by the vinegar. However, I did not want to add more.

On the Bacon and Cabbage soup, on the other hand, worked beautifully since it brought out the saltiness of the bacon and put it forefront, allowing me to put less salt to it. I did modify the soup from the previous post that featured it, and I will write about it tomorrow.

Now, if you excuse me, I’m gonna go wrap myself in blankets and keep drinking warm liquids in order to recover. Unlike most, who use this time to watch movies, I shall read theses. Lucky me!


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