How to retain as much animal fat when cooking soup

Joined Aug 2, 2011

I am cooking a simple beef soup but notice that sometimes a lot of fat resides in the soup and at other times there is less fat.  i can tell this by the amount of bubbles or circles/blobs you see in the soup.  also when i add my cauliflower if there is a lot of bubbless the soup gopes green which tells me i've done it properly i.e. the fat is present.  on other occassions when there is no blobs when i add the cauliflower it doesnt go green which tells me there is not enough fat present.

the way i cook is a simple soup, add beef with water bring to a boil, remove froth , simmer one hour, add vergetable and boil for 15 minutes.  Sometimes it works other times it doesn't. 

Do you know what i may be doing wrong?, am i boiling for too long and the fat is evaporating?  when i remove froth does it sound like all the fat is being removed aswell? does fat accumulate at the top only?

Basically after you have cooked the soup and if tyou leave ity for one day, usually white sold fat ac cumulates at the top of the water, this is what i want, in my case sometimes very little accumulates.

Please help somebody. 

Many thanks
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Most likely it's variation in the pieces of beef.  Some have more fat than another.  In addition, your technique won't give very consistent results.

There's a big difference between fat and lipo-proteins.  You don't want much of the first -- which is unpalatable; but do want a great deal of the other -- because they're experienced as "lip smacking" goodness.  Again, your technique is handicapping you.

You'd do a lot better if you could throw some roasted beef bones into your kettle and never, ever, never-ever, no not nebber ebber, go above a simmer with meat or bones in the pot.

On the other hand, there's a great deal to be said for fast, dirty and just getting on with it. 

Joined Oct 2, 2010
Chlorinated, sorry I have to say this, but retaining fat in a soup is gastronomically about the least wanted thing ever! It gives an unwanted  mouthfeel. Soup without any trace of fat floating on top of the soup should be the trademark of any good chef.

Also, I would worry about a cauliflower turning green in a soup. Never heard of that before. Cauliflower has to remain white.

You call your soup simple, but in fact simples dishes are many times the most difficult to make. Each component needs to be perfect to obtain a perfect result!

How about making it the proper way;

- cover the beef in cold water and bring quickly to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove the meat and rince under cold water. You don't need the cooking water any more. It's now full of unwanted residu. This purifying procedure should be known by a culinary student who just graduated?

- cover the beef in cold water again and bring gently to a simmer. Add aromatics; whole onion only outer layer removed (push 2 cloves in it), chunks of carrot, piece of leek (use the green, the white goes in the soup), stick of celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, a little salt.. NO cauliflower! Simmer until the meat is soft.

- remove the meat and leave to cool. Leave the rest to cool, put in a covered plastic container in the fridge until next day.

- Take the layer of fat off gently and remove any remaining fat. Sieve the liquid. You don't need the veggies anymore.

- start making soup by sweating on low fire; a chopped onion, celery stick, white part of the leeks, carrot, maybe other root vegetables too if you like. When making a mixed soup you don't need to cut the veggies nicely. In that case also add some potatoes, they will bind the soup. When making unmixed soup, you need to finely cut the veggies to approx. the same size.

When making cauliflower soup, just use white celery, white part of leeks, white onion, a potato and cauliflower in chunks. I prefer to mix this cauliflower soup.

- add the preserved liquid and let boil gently for 30 minutes when mixing the soup. If not, 10-15 minutes is more than enough.

- shred the meat in small bitesize pieces (use your hands) and let warm in the soup. Check for seasoning, soup needs a lot of salt!!

Serve and enjoy!
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Cauliflour, Green, Blobs and Bloops,  What on earth are you making. Are you sure you are not using broccoliflour?  What are you doing wrong you asked?  Everything. Follow what BDL and Chris have said which appears above.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
If you just graduated from culinary school......well, I would ask for my money back.
Joined Aug 2, 2011
Actually the reasons I am limiting the ingredients is because I am intolerant to all tuboour vegetables and some others like garlic, ginger and onions.  This only leaves you with greeny vegetables and cruciferious e.g. cauliflower, brocolli.

For people who have leaky gut such as myself it is essential to have animal fat as this heals the damaged lining of the intestine.  I would know since when i eat a fatty soup i can sense my stomach healing, when there is no fat i sense no improvement.  This is why, upon seeing most of the fat evaporated, i need to figure how to keep it.

You say, removing the fat is a fundemental in cooking soup.  I disagree completely, our bodies need fat to function properly including doing things like repairing tissues.  For active people it also gives you energy to burn.  The rules is to combines proteins, fats and carbs, not live on fat free proteins and carbs.  The only time you'd want less fat in soup is because your trying to loose weight.

Anyway, are you telling me when you cook soups and the fat dries(becomes thick white and stays at the top of the soup), you remove it?  It is the fat which gives people the sense of being full.
Joined Aug 2, 2011
btw, when i say fat, i mean once you reheat it it will become liquid and mix with the water anyway after which it is to be consumed, surely thats what you do right?
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Most people get to much fat as is . when I cook I do not want more.  No fats that I know of stay mixed or blend  with water . When saturatd fats  ender your body they in fact solidify . This is what gets into your arteries . There are good fats meat fat isnt'
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
I agree on the less fat the better. But, if your doctor /dietician/nutrionist says you need it for your condition, you could try anything from the below to get to what you want.

You could:

Add lardons of bacon near the end of cooking

Or  crisp up some rashers of bacon then crumble up and use as a garnish.

Add cream/sour cream right at the end of cooking (don't boil here just a quick simmer)

Add a ham hock after doing the first change of water. Lovely flavour, good amount of fat.

Even mix in some grated cheese once you take it off the heat.

Or some egg yolks stirred in once it's off the heat.

Take some nice crusty bread and butter.  A perfect companion for soup.

Hope this helps :)
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