I've had a problem with under-spicing for years and it's become quite prominent now that I've started to make a serious hobby out of cooking. I try to minimize salt use, but I find myself having to add extra salt to really make a dish 'pop' once it has been cooked because the spices aren't showing through. This problem is most prominent when I'm cooking a soup or stew. I'd like to find out if there is a special method to seasoning soups and stews or if I just need to be more bold and increase the amount of spices I'm putting in. As an example, here's the list of ingredients on a stew recipe that still has some rough edges. Chicken Stew: Ingredients: 3 ½ cups of water 1 bouillon cube 2 bay leaves 1 tsp basil 1 clove of garlic diced ½ tsp paprika 2 tsp cilantro 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs chopped 1 pound of mushrooms (bella preferred) chopped 1 onion chopped 5 sticks of 12” celery chopped 5 chopped potatoes (3 red and 2 golden preferred) 2 yellow squash chopped 4 carrots chopped As you can see, this is a large portioned recipe that cooks up a sizable dish. I get a wonderful aroma out of the spices and some flavor, but there's nothing particularly strong, nothing impressive. Any thoughts? Should I be bumping up the spice proportions? If so, how much? That's not a skill I've learned yet. EDIT: In case anyone is wondering why I'm not going ahead and just tossing in larger portions of spice and herbs and seeing what happens....I'm dealing with some very picky eaters who pay for a portion of the food, so I'm not at a stage to just lay a plate out and say 'Eat it or cook something else!'