Goldilocks’ Soup

Remember the story of Goldilocks? She tried one bowl of porridge and it was too hot.  She tried another and it was too cold.  She tried a third bowl, and it was juuuuust right? Well, tonight we had our own adventures with what you might call “Goldilocks’ Soup”.

It all started when Nicole decided to make broth from our leftover roast chicken we’d had earlier this week. She added all the usual suspects–chicken bones, garlic, sage, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion and carrot, to which she added leftover broccoli and an apple (don’t ask me why–she says it was a “bit of a fridge clear-out broth”). To this mix, she decided to add half a chopped green chilli pepper.

When we took the broth off the stove an hour later, we decided to taste the broth before we froze it to make sure it didn’t need any more seasoning (she didn’t add any salt). At first, the soup tasted like a bland chicken broth but then POW! there was suddenly really hot spice burning my tongue and throat. It was…interesting, to say the least. We hemmed and hawed about what to do with this (because we didn’t really want to have overpowerlingly spicy broth), until Nicole remembered a tip an old room mate of her’s used to use: vinegar.

Whenever a chili was too spicy for her room mate, she would add red wine vinegar to the mix, and that calmed the whole scene down. So, Nicole figured she’d try the vinegar trick to see if it worked (we really didn’t have much to lose at this point).

She added roughly two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the 4 cups of broth we had, and let that cook for awhile. Miraculously, it did seem to cut the spice of the broth! However, it also made the broth taste kind of like vinegar. In the end, she added some balsamic vinegar and some soy sauce to a small amount we poured out for our soup tonight, and so we had a version of vegetable “sweet and sour” chicken soup. I wouldn’t recommend trying this from the start, but if you are trying to save your broth, it’s worth a try.

I’ve also read that really any kind of acidic food will cut heat, whether that be lemon juice, lime juice, or even sugar (although you don’t want to use too much of any of these to make sure you don’t end up spoiling the intended flavour of the food).

What do you do to cut back spice in your food?

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