I've been cooking soup for years, but I never gave much thought to the foam that forms on the surface until I saw Just One Cookbook refer to it as "scum". Ewwww. I followed the directions for skimming it off and have been doing it with all of my soups ever since. Before I share another soup recipe I wanted to teach you how and show the difference it can make.
Early on the soup doesn't look too bad...
But after a while, it can get pretty scummy! Some soups are worse than others.
All you need to get rid of that scummy layer is a spoon and a cup of water! (You could also use a small strainer like the link above, but I didn't find it any easier than a spoon) While the soup is simmering, run your spoon along the top of the soup, trying to scoop up just the foam. Dip the spoon in the cup of water to clean it off, and scoop out some more. Make sure to run around the edges as well.
This is a little harder to do if your soup has a lot of small floaties, like herbs, minced garlic, sesame oil, etc. Just try to avoid them, and you aren't going to lose a lot of flavor if you scoop up a little bit.
After a minute or two your soup will be looking a lot cleaner!
It doesn't take a lot of time or effort, and since you are sitting around waiting for the soup to finish cooking at that point, I'd say it's definitely worth the extra step! Anyway, who wants to eat "scum"?