Kings soup

I cooked a packet of King's minestrone soup in my new slow/pressure cooker the other day, on slow cook. The pulses were a bit hard so what I didn't eat at first I cooked some more. Some of it got cooked three times, and was left sitting as it cooled. In the very last bowl there were still pulses I found unpalatably hard. What has your experience been? Is King's soup just not edible now?

Chef_olwen, Apr 28, 9:38 am

I have never used Kings soups but have found that some slow cookers do not get hot enough for pulses.

Chef_kay141, Apr 28, 10:01 am

I've had the same experience with (yellow) split peas over the past few years. 'Back in the day' they used to break down quite quickly and make a lovely thick pea soup, but now they tend to stay hard no matter how long I cook them (and previously this has been for hours, to try and cook them down, but they still haven't). I actually googled this after the last time I cooked it, as I'm so frustrated with them (and unfortunately my supermarket only sells one brand) and apparently it can mean they are old. I'm not sure, but it's damn frustrating.

Chef_hd07, Apr 28, 10:03 am

Maybe I should pressure cook it, then turn it to slow cook.

Chef_olwen, Apr 28, 10:07 am

Try turning your cooker up. leave it long enough so that it is cooked properly.

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 28, 10:51 am


Chef_cats5, Apr 28, 10:54 am

Add your own extras and make it tasty

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 28, 10:57 am

Hhmm, this is a concern. I have just bought 2 packets (for the first time in years) and put them on to simmer, with a few chicken carcasses, so I'm hoping my soup turns out nice but now I'm worried the lentils will be hard. King Old Fashioned soup was a staple over winter when I was a kid, I dont remember the lentils ever being hard.

Chef_datoofairy, Apr 28, 11:02 am

It may be that other varieties are fine. I have a packet of old fashioned here too. Was thinking I could cook up a big pot of soup and freeze if I don't eat it fast enough.

Chef_olwen, Apr 28, 11:18 am

I use the Kings Soup mix esp Pea and Ham.but instead of doing it in the Slow Cooker.use the stock pot on the stove. you can boil it till its tender. and then the soup goes thick and I blitz half s it smooth and leave the other half chunky. Pretty Dam good with crusty bread by the fire on a cold winters night

Chef_petal1955, Apr 28, 11:26 am

I live alone, cook a big pot of soup and freeze it in meal size portions. At the moment, I have chicken, pea and ham and beef with vegetable soups in the freezer.

None are made from packets but I can't see why they shouldn't be suitable to freeze.

BTW, I do the same with stews/casseroles in the winter. No point in cooking enough for just one meal.

Chef_kay141, Apr 28, 11:27 am

A lot of Kings Soups have flavour enhancers 627 and 631 in them.
I won't buy them because of that.

Plus all pulses and legumes should be well cooked before eating. Can cause gut problems if not cooked properly. Soft.

Chef_fruitbat, Apr 28, 11:51 am

But some pulses for sale just won't cook soft. Either due to age, or maybe treatment. How do we avoid bad batches of pulses? They are just nasty otherwise.

Chef_olwen, Apr 28, 12:01 pm

Well I've just tried mine and its delicious. No hard bits, just lots of perfectly cooked pulses, lentils, barley, chicken and bacon. mmmmmmm yummo!

Chef_datoofairy, Apr 28, 12:50 pm

If you are unlucky and they won't cook properly, still hard. I would cut my losses and bin them. some legumes do need a lot of cooking to get them to the right consistency.

Chef_fruitbat, Apr 28, 12:57 pm

I won’t use them because they are too salty for me - if I need to bulk up my soup I cook some lentils or chickpeas and add them when they’re cooked

Chef_sarahb5, Apr 28, 2:20 pm

Sounds darn good !

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 28, 3:43 pm

I agree. salty and those flavour enhancers are a type of MSG I think. I always throw in a few chicken pieces or wings to add flavour and some tomato. makes it tasty.

Chef_fruitbat, Apr 28, 3:48 pm

This. I always treat any pulses that go into a dish separately. Sometimes they require soaking and the water changed at least once during the soak and then brought to the boil and the discarded. For split peas I also cook them separately before adding them to soup close to serving.

I also endorse kay141's post where she says that the temperature is not hot enough in a slow cooker to cook the pulses. This means it is more important, than ever, to pre-cook them first.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 28, 3:56 pm

It's hot enough, and cooked enough if you turn it up and cook for long enough. nothing could be simpler, good grief. do the taste test! Soup is even better the next day. Give it another go girls!

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 28, 8:24 pm

hd07 - i have had the same problem with yellow split peas, cooked one lot for 2 days and still didn't soften them.
(always cook soup on stove top, not slow cooker)
Have found Pams yellow split peas will cook to soft, but other brands don't.

(edit to add: god knows what they are doing to the ones that won't cook, but i won't eat them)

Chef_jesse83, Apr 29, 12:13 am

It was! It was almost a chowder it was so thick with chicken, bacon, barley etc. I used 4 chicken carcasses and all had heaps of meat on them. We had it with ciabatta bread, grilled with garlic butter and cheese. MMmmmmm. so good.
Its another appallingly cold, wet day here so I may make some roast pumpkin soup today. The fire is going so I might just sit a pot on top and let it simmer away there all day.
I love winter for its comfort food.

Chef_datoofairy, Apr 29, 8:09 am

I don't know if this is what happens to the split peas like you cooked but irradiated pulses never soften when cooked. They stay hard and almost exactly like they were when uncooked or unsoaked.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 29, 12:06 pm

That's very interesting, thanks buzzy.
Yes, split peas i have cooked are exactly like that, pretty much as if they have never been soaked overnight, or cooked at all.
Was not aware that they 'irradiated' pulses, they obviously are not bothered that we can't cook them properly, or eat them.
Pams ones were fine, but haven't used them since last winter, hopefully they haven't nuked theirs too.

Chef_jesse83, Apr 29, 7:00 pm

Do you pre-soak your pulses before using them?. I do this except for red lentils and don't have a problem. I don't use soup mixes as I find them too salty for my taste and they sometimes use enhancers in them so I prefer to mix my own pulses etc.

Chef_nauru, Apr 29, 7:16 pm

I cook my chicken carcasses first then strain add king soup mix to pot country chicken then add onion carrot, silver beet and small pieces of chicken and boil yummy

Chef_sticky232, Apr 29, 8:52 pm

Either you added salt to the cooking water - which is a no-no for any pulses or they were irradiated. We had that problem with chickpeas in NZ a few years ago. Never got soft, even after being soaked for 24 hours and cooked for 8 hours on high in the crockpot. I now buy organic chickpeas (if I ever use them) and check them if they sprout. If they do they will also cook. If they do not sprout they go back to the supplier.

Chef_uli, May 5, 1:13 pm

Kings soup mix are just barley, lentils and the like - you add your own flavours and veges to it.

Chef_uli, May 5, 1:15 pm

I know that, I have used them but prefer to make my own as they are way too salty for my taste. I was referring to olwens remark about cooking pulses in general not the soup mix.

Chef_nauru, May 5, 6:14 pm

I have been put off the Kings soup mixes for a few years now as they taste bland plus I don't like enhancers in them. I like to make my own mixes but would love some recipe base ideas such as how much lentils and barley and different flavour ideas. I'm a diabetic type 1 and try to eat as natural as possible with little fat.

Chef_lj1422, May 5, 6:56 pm

How can a mix of barley, lentils etc be too salty? Am I missing something here. There is nothing in the mix that contains salt. Or flavour improvers.

Are we talking about the same thing here?

Obviously not:

So the old pulses mix is no more?

Chef_uli, May 5, 8:27 pm

Chef_uli, May 5, 8:28 pm

There’s clearly more than pulses in this mix

And the others are similar - pea and ham for example is 81% peas and 4% ham so the other 15% is pretty much “filler”

Chef_sarahb5, May 6, 7:48 pm

This one is marketed as "low salt" but the vegetables are only 71% of the toal. other ingredients, not measured include salt, yeast extract, both salty plus many other unmeasured ingredients.

They will definitely not be going on my shopping list.

Chef_kay141, May 6, 8:07 pm

Yes, same product so you are obviously missing something. Try reading at the nutritional info, there is salt and also flavour enhancers (ie: 621, 627,631) in the ingredient list. Hence being too salty for my taste and I don't like using enhancers, 621 being MSG which I have a reaction to. Some also use yeast extract which is also very salty.

Chef_nauru, May 6, 8:22 pm

The basic problem is so simple - pulses do not like salt, and it inhibits the softening/breaking down process.

** Remember to never add salt to the pulses until you've finished cooking them, or the sodium will toughen the skins and prevent them from softening and cooking properly.**

Always add condiments at the END of cooking, to taste.

If using a product like Kings soup mix, sieve the flavourings out, cook the pulses/legumes, add the "flavourings" at the end. but it's way better, and healthier, to use your own herbs and spices, along with the pulses/legumes you want - and way cheaper, too!

Chef_autumnwinds, May 6, 8:45 pm

It is a myth that salt toughens pulses/legumes. In fact it softens the pectin in the skins, and decreases cooking time. I learned this only quite recently and have tried it out with our home grown cannellini beans, semi-dried. With salt they take 25 minutes of simmering to become tender, without salt they take 35 minutes. I was really surprised.

Chef_davidt4, May 6, 9:13 pm

I've noticed this with lentils, and used to see it with batches of soybeans when I worked in the food industry. Very frustrating. It's caused by heat treatment in quarantine - which must also affect nutritional value.

Chef_rua69, May 6, 9:50 pm

I am really surprised too actually as I had some bean fails early on in my cooking endeavors. So I never added salt to the cooking water since then.

In Greece I learned that they also do not add salt, but a bit of bicarb to soften the beans quicker, important when you have hardly any wood for the fires because the goats ate all the regrowing trees on the islands.

Chef_uli, May 17, 9:58 am

I bought Pam’s yellow split peas this week and made soup, they broke down well.
I tossed out the ones I had that were hard, I had put them in a container so I can’t remember which brand they were.

Chef_vashti, May 17, 10:30 am

Try covering them with water and microwave for 5 mins then add them to slow cooker. Mine soften when I do this in the slow cooker

Chef_macb, May 18, 6:42 pm

You can put lots of extras. It makes a good base I find.

Chef_hidecote01, Jul 23, 7:03 am