Curdling

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Because cream soups contain milk or cream or both, curdling is a common problem. The heat of cooking and the acidity of many of the other soup ingredients are the causes of this curdling.

Fortunately,we can rely on one fact to avoid curdling: roux and other starch thickeners stabilize milk and cream. Caution is still necessary because soups are relatively thin and do not contain enough starch to be completely curdle-proof. Observe the following guidelines to help prevent curdling:

1. Do not combine milk and simmering soup stock without the presence of roux or other starch. Do one of the following:

• Thicken the stock before adding milk.

• Thicken the milk before adding it to the soup.

2. Do not add cold milk or cream to simmering soup. Do one of the following:

• Heat the milk in a separate saucepan.

• Temper the milk by gradually adding some of the hot soup to it.Then add it to the rest of the soup.

3. Do not boil soups after milk or cream has been added.

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