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Old 11-03-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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Making soup with rice question

I'm a self-taught soup chef. Have not yet used a recipe and I like it that way - it's fun to see what I can come up with. Everyone seems to like my creations; you really can't go wrong. Anyway, the one thing I do manage to screw up is rice. I've been making a great overall gumbo, but the rice always gets too mushy. How are you supposed to put rice in soup? I've been cooking it first, before adding it, so it doesn't absorb too much of the soup liquid. Is this wrong? Should you just increase the liquid in the soup to allow for the rice? Is there a special kind of rice that works better than regular long-grain rice?

Probably a stupid question, but I figure someone here would have tips.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:31 PM   #2
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When I make my own soup, I keep the rice and pasta separated until I'm ready to serve it.

I guess I'm no help, but I have never been able to keep the rice or pasta from completely soaking up the broth after I've combined them.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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Gumbo is to be served OVER rice.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:41 PM   #4
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I put the uncooked rice in so it will soak up all the yummy soup broth. Broth always tastes better than water. I normally use jasmine rice, it has a stronger "rice" flavor, so you can season it with broth and still taste rice.

I cook the soup and then bring it to a boil. Dump the rice in, cover, turn heat to low, and let sit for about 40 minutes. Then it is ready to serve.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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I put the rice in uncooked and add water as needed. Rarely, I might use cooked rice b/c I have some leftover -- it would go in at the very end, but it wouldn't taste as good. The rice NEEDS to soak up the broth b/c that's where it's going to get a lot of its flavor.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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I add the rice into the soup base about 15 minutes before I plan on serving it. I add it in RAW not precooked. Works for me.
*and I'm thinking she means a gumbo soup not real gumbo-mmmmgumbo!
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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I should add that I put the rice in fairly late. Ditto for potatoes, most vegetables (onion and celery might be part of the broth and go in at the beginning).
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stluvispooh View Post
Gumbo is to be served OVER rice.
Yea, I'm from Pennsylvania (PA Dutch country, no less); you won't catch me claiming to be a gumbo expert. I should probably call it something else . It's darn spicy though, can I have 2 points for that???

Thanks everyone. I'm going to try your strategies next time.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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While some soups do include rice during the cooking process, Gumbo is not one of them; it uses other thickening agents. Never cook the rice in the Gumbo -- cook it seperately and put the rice in the bowl first when serving, otherwise your oil will not properly rise to be skimmed after the Gumbo cools, because adding a starch other than roux during cooking causes the oil to bind. (If you want to be artsy, mold the rice in a ramekin like restaurants in NOLA do, so that the Gumbo forms a ring around it when served.) Adding the rice at serving has another benefit; your Gumbo will fit better in your freezer. Gumbo is one of those soups that is improved by being frozen.

When you make a soup that does include raw rice, add it no more than 30 minutes before you expect the soup to be served. Rice cooks in boiling-point broth in 20 minutes -- go past 30 and you will have mushy rice.

PS: Just FYI, Gumbo never includes carrots, because they turn to mush, too.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckay87 View Post
Yea, I'm from Pennsylvania (PA Dutch country, no less); you won't catch me claiming to be a gumbo expert. I should probably call it something else . It's darn spicy though, can I have 2 points for that???

Thanks everyone. I'm going to try your strategies next time.
OK, but I'm a Cajun girl and our gumbos are never spicy unless someone adds Tabasco to their bowl at the table.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rie'smom View Post
OK, but I'm a Cajun girl and our gumbos are never spicy unless someone adds Tabasco to their bowl at the table.

Ok, can we just forget I used the word "gumbo"? It was wrong of me.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:53 PM   #12
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What kind of rice are you using? Long grain rice and Jasmine rice hold up pretty well, as long as you cook it right. Use 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Bring the water to a hard boil, add some salt, add your rice. Stir and bring up to a hard boil again. Turn the heat on low and cover your rice. Cook on low for 20min. DONT LIFT THE LID! and don't cook any longer. As you're cooking you'll notice some steam escaping from the pot. That's a good thing. When the steam stops coming out your rice is almost ready. Cooking rice uncovered or peeking to see if it's done will ruin your rice.

And if you really want to go healthy, cook brown rice. Same measurements, 2 cups water: 1 cup rice. Bring water to a boil, add salt and rice. Return to boiling, cover and cook on low for 1 HOUR. Brown rice is hardier and healthier for you because it is less processed than white rice. I cook up a big pot of brown rice and keep it in the fridge so I can use it later in the week. I like to eat it for breakfast--it's kinda nutty tasting and has a lot of texture, like old-fashioned oatmeal.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #13
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Gumbo shumbo. LOL Back to the original question.

I have done both, but I prefer to use cooked rice and add it at the end, about 30 min. before the soup is done I add the cooked rice. If I use uncooked rice I add more broth. I do the same with pasta.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rie'smom View Post
OK, but I'm a Cajun girl and our gumbos are never spicy unless someone adds Tabasco to their bowl at the table.
Don't bet on that -- folks from outside Louisiana sometimes have a different definition of "spicy" than we do. I once made gumbo for the folks in my office up here and one of the ladies complained that I had lied to her when I said that the gumbo wasn't spicy. What was she complaining about? She objected to the presence of onions, garlic and a 1/2 tsp. of black pepper in the entire 2 gallon pot. (She was from Wisconsin.)

In S. Louisiana we usually define "spicy" as having a lot of heat from cayenne. Folks from elsewhere may define it as something as something else entirely. If onions and garlic make something spicy, then my gumbo definitely is, but it is not "hot" the way someone from Lafayette would define it.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:19 PM   #15
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Because I think it's awesome that you'd try cooking gumbo, I'm going to share my grandmother's recipe.

Grandmother's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe

1 lb smoked sausage

salt and pepper

1 chicken, cut into 4 or 5 pieces

1.5 c butter or oil (butter is better)

1 c all purpose flour

3 lg ribs celery

3 lg onions

5 qts water

3/4 c chopped parsley

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

Gumbo file ( it's ground sassafrass)

Brown sausage, drain;set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste; brown pieces inn sausage drippings. drain; set aside. Wipe inside of pot with paper toweling. Add butter for roux. Add flour; cook over medium or low heat stirring constantly, for about 30 minutes or until the color of chocolate peanut butter-just this side of burned. Be careful because if it burns, you have to start over. Add celery, onion,and smother until soft. Add small amounts of water as needed to prevent roux from burning. Add remaining water and boil. Add browned chicken and sausage; simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. 5 minutes before serving, add green onions and parsley. Serve hot in deep bowls over a mound of rice. If you can find the file, sprinkle a little bit when served.

Gumbo has the consistency of thin soup. Many restaurants outside of the area advertise gumbo but it is thick like stew which is not right.

It's also excellent made with 1 lb of crab meat & 1 lb of small to medium shrimp- you can used canned but it won't be the same. Cook as above but omit the chicken and add the seafood 10 minutes before serving.

ETA: Serves 10-12
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