Benefits of Slow Cooking

January 17th, 2010 by Jean Duane

I was demonstrating a dairy-free (gluten-free) Cream of Celery Soup at Whole Foods in my monthly cooking class at the Tamarac Square store in Denver. Before arriving, I made the soup at home. This has been a good practice for a few reasons ? the recipe and methods are fresh in my mind, so I give a better demonstration, and the soup is pre-made so people can taste it. After doing demonstrations in every kind of place imaginable, I?ve learned that you can?t always count on things working at the demonstration area. Often, appliances are ?props? and don?t really work at all. (One TV set looked just like a kitchen, and the ?oven? was a shelf. Another had a sink, but no water came out. Everything had to be carried to a down-the-hall bathroom to be rinsed.) Often, you are given a table and nothing else. The lesson is: Bring change-outs (and appliances). Anyway, back to the soup?
The Tamarac Whole Foods Market is a showcase store. It is absolutely a beautiful bounty of foods, scents and color. It piques every sense as you walk in, and makes you think of creative ways to cook the wonderful array of foods. They have a demonstration kitchen in the center of the store, so people can watch cooking demonstrations. It is lovely ? and everything in the demo kitchen (usually) works.
The other night, the flame wasn?t working on the gas stove. It was lighting, but just barely. It had about as much power as a Bic lighter. When I pre-made the soup at home, I saut?ed the onions and celery together slowly until they were done, then built the soup. The onions and celery cooked about 25 minutes slowly. This makes the soup taste really good.CreamOFCeleryBLOG
During the demonstration, I had to make the soup with the uncooked onions and celery. I added the broth and the nut cream and the other ingredients and thought, ?well, I?ll just make it to show how, and then cook it when I get home?. So I did. What a HUGE difference in taste from the first batch to the second. All the same ingredients, but the methods were totally different.
Slow cooking or even roasting vegetables used in soups make the soup taste great versus cooking everything all at once. Adding everything to the pot and boiling the soup makes the soup taste like something (major) is lacking. There isn?t the same depth of taste. Isn?t that interesting?
If you?d like the recipe for the Cream of Celery Soup, pick up a copy of this month?s Autism Asperger?s Digest. ? Alternative Cook, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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