Pureed vegetable soup

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Wonder why vegetable purees at restaurants always taste richer than the ones you blend at home? Schwartz from ICE says that it's usually due to cream (or sour cream, in the case of some cold soups). To suss out dairy, he suggests asking if the soup is vegan. Schwartz sees patrons passing on the potatoes and ordering rice instead, but he says it's common for Western-style chefs to add oil or butter for extra flavor and to keep grains from clumping (he advises requesting it "steamed plain"). "Grilled" suggests a flaming charcoal grill with open bars to allow fat to drip away, but Schwartz says diners and some chain restaurants tend to use flattop grills, which means the food sits in a pool of grease and soaks up fat. Ask your server if the restaurant uses a flame or flat-top grill, and then decide if you'd rather have your meat cooked another way, says Schwartz.
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