Soup Tricks: How to Avoid (and Fix) a Salty Soup

An overly salty soup is no one's idea of a good meal, and this comes from a self-professed salt fiend! Here are two tricks to get the seasoning just right...and what to do when you realize you were maybe still a bit too heavy-handed.Think about salting at the beginning and the end. The first step of almost any soup is to sauté the vegetables to bring out their flavor and get them started cooking. Adding salt at this stage ensures that the vegetables themselves are seasoned properly. They absorb salt and get tasty. A teaspoon of salt for several cups of chopped vegetables will do the trick.

When you add the broth and get the soup simmering, the soup will at first taste under-salted. Remember that the soup is going to reduce a little as it simmers so resist the temptation to add more salt at this point.

A few minutes before you're ready to take the soup off the heat, taste it again and add more salt as needed. With my soups, I find that another teaspoon or so is usually needed to brighten the flavors and bring the soup together. Now when you serve the soup, the seasonings will be just right.

If your soup still ends up tasting a little salty, first try adding a few more cups of broth or water. This will thin out your soup - and the salt. You can eat it like this, or you can add a potato or two to absorb some of the extra liquid (and, yes, its salt!). A cup of rice or some pasta will accomplish the same end.

Any other tricks for avoiding an over-salted soup or adjusting for it post-facto?

Related: Quick Tip: Make Cheese Rind Stock!

(Images: Emma Christensen and Ribollita Soup - Stephanie Barlow)

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