I've always just dumped in raw onions, celery, carrots, etc., into my soups, even the noodles; so I was surprised to learn how many cooks and recipes sautee the veggies before adding to their soups.
Is it worth the extra step?
For the recipes I use, there is a difference in the flavor.
My great-grandmother used to cook all veggies and broth separately. Then, she would put everything on the table, and the diners would put whatever/how much of the veggies in their bowl, then they would top with the broth and other garnishes.
The flavors were not married, as in a pot all day.
My mother simplified it a bit, and cooked the stuff separately, then combined it on the stovetop at the end, then served the mixed soup at the table--didn't have all those bowls, etc. It was NOT cooked longer as that would marry the flavors.
Me? I just tossed everything in the soup pot and cooked it, letting it all marry.
It doesn't taste the same because the flavors marry, instead of each retaining their own individual flavors like previous soup makers in my family.
That doesn't make it good or bad. It's just different. Some folks can't tell the difference, but I can with the recipes I make.
I don't care for foods married too much. But, lack of time and energy usually win out when it comes to soup.
That is a really intriguing question.
If cooking soup in a Dutch oven or soup pot, I usually saute the aromatics, like onions and garlic, and certain vegetables like green pepper and celery in olive or vegetable oil. And, then I'll add the tomato sauce and stir it in the sauteed vegetables, depending on the type of soup I make.
That's the way I was taught. It probably has to do with enriching the flavors.
I don't saute vegetables or aromatics in advance, if making soup in a slow cooker. When I make split pea or lentil soup, for example, I throw in everything raw. It cooks for such a long time that the vegetables lose their raw taste and the flavors are deep and rich, especially when I use flavored stocks, herbs and smoked meat.
Just throw them in unless a recipe says otherwise. Somethings I may put in at a dif time...such as celery if I want it al dente, and maybe fresh mushrooms so they won't mush; just depends on what I'm making.
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