Soups are hearty, warming meals that often contain a wealth of nutritious benefits! However, sometimes your finished soups or recipes just don’t have the consistency or texture you desire.
Getting that extra thickness can be tricky, and it is also incredibly easy to accidentally mess up the taste and overall composition of your soup when trying to thicken soups. Though cream and cornstarch are classically easy go to’s, they are perhaps not the best choices if you are watching your calorie or dairy intake.
In this blog post, we will cover a range of fantastic techniques you can use to thicken your soup! These tips and tricks can be used within all soup recipes and can suit all lifestyles and palette preferences.
Why Your Soup Could Need Thickening
There are multiple reasons as to why your soup may need thickening, so it is important to know whether you will need to thicken the soup whilst you are still in the process of making it.
By looking out for the following issues, you can be prepared with ingredients and kitchen tools to thicken a soup:
Adding too much water will create a thin soup, as the water to solid ingredient ratio will be wrong.
Lots of Leafy Greens
Similar to the above point, establishing the right water balance for soup is important for creating the desired consistency. Because of this, leafy green vegetables have the ability to disturb a seemingly correct water level.
This is due to the fact that leafy green vegetables have a high water percentage, which when added to soups can increase the overall water content. Adding too many leafy greens will thin the soup out.
Finally, everyone enjoys eating their soup in a different way! The audience you are serving (or yourself) may just want their soups to have a thicker consistency than normal.
If you want to eat a meal that is a bit more filling if you are feeling hungry, then a thicker soup will be better at keeping you satisfied throughout the day. Thin soup is great as a light meal or as a side dish as it is not too heavy and can be enjoyed alongside other smaller meals.
Our 8 Tips On Thickening Your Soup!
Fortunately, if you have made a cooking error or simply prefer thick soup, there are several simple tips and tricks that you can use to thicken your soup.
The following tips provided both include the usage of flour and without flour, making them suitable for most diets. There are also some calorie-conscious varieties, which are ideal for followers of the keto diet, as well as anyone looking to lose weight or control their calorie intake.
For an easier cooking process, Proper Good makes delicious health-conscious soups that are already pre-made to a satisfying thickness and consistency. These soups can be ready to eat in just 90 seconds and are available for a range of diets, including keto, plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets.
Add cornstarch or flour:
Adding flour or cornstarch to thicken a soup is a great way to add thickness without altering the flavor. Simply add flour or cornstarch to your soup whilst it is still simmering over the stove by mixing 1/4 cup of flour or cornstarch with cold water in a separate bowl.
Stir this mixture until it is smooth and add into the soup, gently stirring. Continue cooking the soup on a simmer to help the mixture to absorb, and feel free to add more if the soup still seems too thin.
Make a roux:
Roux is a classic French thickening agent used for soups and broths. Roux is easy to make and is a delicious addition to any soup that can also enhance the flavor.
To make a roux, you will need to cook equal parts butter or oil with flour into a saucepan. Cook this mixture on a medium heat and wait until it is lightly browned. Then, add this into your soup to reach the desired thickness.
Blend all or a few cups of your soup:
Blending chunky soups are a great way to make them more thick whilst still having a liquid-based consistency. If you would still like the chunkiness to remain intact, you can blend just a few cups of the soup until creamy and smooth in a stick blender, and then add this back into the original soup. You can also do the same with meat soups to break up fibers.
If you enjoy thick, chunky soups then you will love Proper Good's soup selection, especially this Meatball Minestrone Soup.
Include lentils, rice, cooked potatoes, or bread:
Using lentils, cooked rice, cooked potatoes, bread, or noodles in your soup can help to add body to the consistency, as well as provide extra flavor and nutrients. You can either add these extra ingredients by chopping them up for a chunky soup, or you can blend them into a puree before adding them into the soup.
Additionally, lentils and beans are great to add to soups to produce a delicious and nutritious stew-like meal. White beans complement flavors produced by root vegetables, and potato flakes and mashed potatoes will work well with pea and potato-based soups.
To add richness to your soup as well as thicken it, you can ground nuts (such as cashews and other tree nuts) to add extra flavor and texture to any soup.
Yogurt or cream:
Thickening a soup by using cream or yogurt is an excellent way of thickening a soup in just a few minutes! For a general health-conscious choice choose a plain yogurt or if on the keto diet choose a heavy cream, and simply stir into a soup whilst it's on simmer to thicken it.
For those following a keto diet, full-fat cream is a keto-friendly way to add fat into soups and stew to help put your body into a state of ketosis. For example, a keto-safe way to add cream to thicken soup is by using sour cream. Vegan and plant-based creams can also be used to thicken soups.
When adding any cream or yogurt to soup you will need to stir it in thoroughly on medium heat to ensure it does not separate. If it does separate the soup will still taste nice but the texture will be ruined, so do your best to add the cream or yogurt at a medium heat and maintain a velvety creamy texture of your soup.
Use coconut milk:
Using coconut milk to thicken your soup will add an extra flavor reminiscent of Asian cuisine and curry sauces with a subtle coconut flavor. Cook your soup on a low heat simmer and add coconut milk by gently stirring it in. Use as much or as little as you want depending on the desired consistency; the more you use, the thicker and more flavorful your soup will be.
Additionally, coconut milk is also a naturally dairy-free choice for anyone with a dairy intolerance or following a vegan, plant-based diet. Proper Good also offers dairy-free, ready-made soup options!
Make a Beurre Manié:
A beurre manie is a french recipe (beurre manié) that utilizes softened butter and flour to thicken puree, soup, and sauce. To make this, knead your butter and flour together in equal parts in a small bowl and add this butter mix into your soup.
These starchy ingredients will help to thicken the soup without the need for a blender or food processor, as the fat content in butter helps join the starch in the hot soup.
In summary, there are many ways to add thickness to your soup recipes. These tricks include adding flour, butter, rice, potatoes, bread, yogurt, or beans to your soup.
For smooth soup or puree, make sure to blend these ingredients in a food processor before adding them. To achieve a chunky soup, simply chop up these cooked items and stir them into your soup.
Proper Good soups offer an easy and delicious alternative for consistently achieving the perfect thickness for both chunky and pureed soup!