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Old 12-25-2007, 08:36 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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I'm into making soups and stews this winter, now that I've moved back to New England. I bought a bag of dried split peas and a bag of navy beans. I was trying to think of what types of spices would go best in these soups. And then I realized how little I know about the different spices.

I shouldn't need to follow a recipe to make a soup, but how would I know what types of spices to put in my pea soup? Or a Navy bean soup with chicken?

Thyme? Marjoram? Rosemary? What spices are best? How do I combine them?

What are your favorite spices and how do you use them?

Greenie

P.S. This morning I made a wonderful butternut squash soup with coconut milk and chicken broth. I added fresh garlic and ginger, a few finely chopped almonds, curry and lemon juice, and topped it off with cilantro. It came out perfect, velvety, and creamy. (I used a blender.)

Last edited by GreenMachine; 12-25-2007 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Denver
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I love using fresh Rosemary because it is very versatile and lasts a long time. It is great is stuffing, with chicken, with mushrooms, with potatoes, with lots of stuff.

Garlic, though not a spice, can be used with pretty much everything, along with black pepper.

I like to use curry powder in chicken salad, in stews, soups, cheese spread, etc. It would go wonderful in your butternut squash soup!!
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:18 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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In any kind of soup with beef, I always put thyme and a bay leaf.
With poultry I like rosemary.
In baked goods I like cardamom..I think it has the most wonderful smell, and is the most underused spice.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
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I think you can do well with salt, pepper, onion or shallot and garlic...probably my most frequently used taste additions.

And for soup and stews, bay or laurel, herbs to taste.

For stews, mixed herbs, sambal (hot peppers).

Spices should be reserved for things that require a somewhat sweeter taste--nutmeg, and cinnamon, coconut milk etc.

And I don't know where you landed in Western MA, but just over the bridge from N'hampton to Amherst (about 1m, I think) on the left hand side is a very well stocked Asian store. You can buy bulk herbs and spices there for much less than elsewhere, as well as bulk rice, beans, and some good fresh vegetables.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
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I love tarragon with chicken, fresh sprigs of rosemary with pork loins, hot pepper flakes in lots of stuff, bay leaves in soups/stews, ground ginger/soy sauce/honey/garlic for a marinade. Garlic in everything!!!!
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:00 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandsGal View Post
I like to use curry powder in chicken salad, in stews, soups, cheese spread, etc. It would go wonderful in your butternut squash soup!!
Yes, I forgot to mention, I did put curry in my butternut squash soup. It turned out wonderful. I'm hoping it tastes better today. I'll have it for dinner with some french bread and butter.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:02 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
And I don't know where you landed in Western MA, but just over the bridge from N'hampton to Amherst (about 1m, I think) on the left hand side is a very well stocked Asian store.
I think it is gone. Atkins Farms has a great assortment of veggies, and I like all the spices at Whole Foods.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:03 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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I'm going to grow my own fresh spices in the spring. Nothing better than fresh spices.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
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No, the Asian Market moved away from the Bridge closer to Hadley (I was just there a few months ago and they looked very prosperous).

Yup, Atkins is wonderful and yes, Whole Foods--a plethora of food in the area.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:12 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,058,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
No, the Asian Market moved away from the Bridge closer to Hadley (I was just there a few months ago and they looked very prosperous).
I guess I'll have to look around for it again. Thanks for the tip.
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