Published September 1, 2007.
We found a faster path to a full-flavored soup.
Given enough meat, bones, and time, a great beef soup isn't all that hard to make. But can you make an equally great soup without spending that much time and energy?
We wanted to make beef and vegetable soup in just an hour, without sacrificing the intense flavor of a long-simmered homemade beef stock.
We first needed to find a cut of meat with the right texture. After testing nearly a dozen samples, we settled on sirloin tip steak—its shredded texture fooled tasters into thinking the meat had cooked for hours. To keep to our time limit, we had to use store-bought broth but knew it would need some serious doctoring. After analyzing the flavor components in beef broth, we tested a group of foods that contained glutamates—naturally occurring flavor compounds that accentuate beefy flavors. We chose cremini mushrooms, tomato paste, soy sauce, and red wine. Finally, we wanted to recreate the richness developed in long-simmered soup that is a result of collagen (tough proteins in the meat and bones) breaking down into gelatin. Adding a tablespoon of gelatin softened in cold water provided the missing viscosity.list of recipes