How To Thicken Soup: 5 Ways According to a Chef



When the temps drop under 60ºF it’s a telltale signal that soup season has formally begun, and few issues are extra nourishing for the soul (and physique) than a hearty soup that actually sticks to each your bones and the edges of your loved one Le Creuset Dutch oven.

So, how are you going to flip a rooster noodle soup right into a creamy rooster noodle soup recipe? Albert Nguyen, chef-instructor of Culinary Arts on the Institute of Culinary Education, says it’s soup-er simple. Forward, Nguyen dishes out all of his expert-backed ideas and methods for thickening soup. (You should definitely learn up on what to do with all your leftover soup earlier than you start—you will thank us later.)

5 fast and straightforward methods for how one can thicken soup in mere seconds

1. Add puréed veggies to simply about any inventory

A superb strategy to thicken soups (and add an additional enhance of vitamin) is by including puréed veggies to their base. “One in all my favourite methods to thicken soups is so as to add a puréed vegetable—ideally ones which might be excessive in starch and decrease in fiber,” Nguyen says. “This often incorporates extra taste and typically relying on the soup you can be making, makes use of greens that may have in any other case gone to waste, or greens that already existed in your soup.”

For instance, Nguyen says if you happen to’re making rooster soup, mixing a number of the celery, carrots, and onions (aka, mirepoix, a basic trifecta of components for a lot of soup recipes) can assist add some consistency and richness to a sometimes liquidy soup.

2. Whisk in some powdered mashed potatoes

Earlier than you scream bloody homicide, Nguyen says powdered mashed potatoes are a secret weapon for making wealthy and creamy soups to maintain in your again pocket. “One other actually good ingredient to have available that simply thickens soups and doubles as an awesome coating for frying meals is powdered mashed potatoes.” Certainly, we’re equally shook. Based on the chef, the dehydrated potato flakes act as the proper starchy ingredient for thickening soups, all whereas including a “homey potato taste.” Swoon.

Used up the whole field of prompt mash final Thanksgiving? No downside. Nguyen explains that including a couple of spoonfuls of any leftover mashed potatoes into your soup can even assist do the trick.

3. When unsure, you’ll be able to’t go fallacious with a cornstarch slurry

By far the best strategy to thicken soup that ensures a non-grainy result’s by including in cornstarch slurry. The bottom line is making certain the slurry combine has the enough proportions: two components liquid (chilly or room temperature) to at least one half cornstarch. Then, all it’s important to do is combine it up till it’s totally dissolved earlier than pouring it into your boiling pot of soup. “Add it to the soup little by little and produce it as much as a boil to activate the starch,” Nguyen says. Bear in mind: A bit of goes a good distance.

4. Use your leftover starches

Obtained some leftover white rice and even pasta (and, in fact, mashed potatoes)? Nguyen says they’re among the finest home made soup methods for thickening up the consistency. “When making your soup, scoop out about an eighth of your complete quantity of liquid and use it to boil these leftovers till they’re smooth. When it’s smooth, simply mix them and add them again into your soup,” Nguyen says. The one factor that is perhaps simpler to do than this genius cooking hack is make this three-ingredient soup recipe.

5. Use a blender to emulsify the components

Based on Nguyen, by far essentially the most helpful gear for thickening soups in a family could be an immersion blender. “They’re nice since they’re hand-held and may be plugged in and delivered to the soup pot for mixing. It is also good when making smaller volumes of soup,” he says. That mentioned, a blender can work wonders too. “Alternatively, a blender works properly additionally, and undoubtedly does a greater job of mixing issues smoother. But, I nonetheless favor the hand immersion blender for its compact measurement and adaptability within the kitchen.”

Just a few soup texture ideas

Is it higher to thicken soup with flour or cornstarch?

In terms of attaining a wealthy and creamy texture and scrumptious taste, Nguyen says you’ll need to be additional cautious when utilizing flour over cornstarch to thicken a soup. “Flour makes soups thicker and holds them at that viscosity higher. Nonetheless, it does add the flavour of flour to your soup and typically requires you to first make a roux which for some folks can seem to be additional work,” he explains. That’s why he tends to gravitate towards cornstarch, which he says is way simpler to work with and received’t alter the flavour of your soup. Although, take into account that cornstarch received’t make soups as thick as flour would.

When working with thinner broths, cornstarch would work properly. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re seeking to make one thing with a “fuller” physique, like a broccoli cheddar soup, then flour in a roux (particularly a lighter, white or blonde roux) could be one of the best ways to go to realize a extra creamy and velvety mouthfeel, Nguyen says.

Does boiling assist thicken soup?

When working with cornstarch, flour, or different starchy components, boiling is critical to thicken the combination. “When you add your most well-liked thickener it ought to be introduced as much as a boil for it to vary the consistency of your soup,” Nguyen says. After a couple of minute or two of boiling, it is best to start to see outcomes—if it hasn’t thickened to your liking by then chances are you’ll want so as to add extra of the thickening agent.

Understand that chances are you’ll want to regulate the seasoning of your soup if you happen to proceed so as to add extra components. That mentioned, even if you happen to don’t have flour or cornstarch available you’ll be able to at all times depend on some easy science (aka evaporation) that may assist thicken soup by merely decreasing the liquid.

Does soup thicken because it cools?

Soup that comprises some quantity of starch, whether or not it’s potatoes, rice, pasta, or an added thickener like cornstarch or flour will certainly thicken as soon as it cools. “It will not be a big quantity however starches as soon as activated (delivered to a boil) will retain this viscosity and proceed to thicken barely extra because it cools. It is just like a custard or pudding: The cornstarch makes the soup runnier when sizzling. However when it cools, it will get a thicker consistency,” Nguyen says.

What to do in case your soup is simply too thick

If worse involves worse, and you discover that your soup has overly thickened, Nguyen says the one strategy to repair it’s by including extra liquid. “Ideally you can be including a flavorful liquid reminiscent of inventory. If you do not have inventory, then water must do,” he says. However, bear in mind: this’ll dilute the flavors and seasonings—which is why tasting as you go is a chef’s primary rule within the kitchen.

To keep away from this case altogether, Nguyen says to at all times add the thickener of your selection in small increments, giving it time to boil and cook dinner in between. If want be, you’ll be able to at all times add extra.

Feeling assured about your soup-making skills? These anti-inflammatory soup recipes are calling your identify.

Creamy, nourishing soup coming proper up:


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