Sometimes a home-prepared soup recipe doesn’t come out like you thought it would. If it tastes perfect but is a little watery, there are several fixes you can try without compromising the taste. If you find yourself always cooking soup that’s too thin and doesn’t taste strong enough, the first thing you should do is turn up the heat during cooking time to drive off some of the water. This will intensify the flavor and thicken the texture of the soup. Depending on what kind of soup you’re into, these are some of the easiest ways to make it a little bit creamier.
If you are familiar with a roux, kudos. Roux contains fat and flour and is popular as a soup thickener because it thickens and preserves the flavors. If you’re making a cheesy soup, a dash of roux can ensure it won’t separate. Follow these step-by-step directions for adding roux to your soup.
Cornstarch is another excellent option to thicken your soup. You can add cornstarch to a small amount of chilled water and stir it into a dense slurry. Add this mixture to the hot soup at the end of your cooking to set the proper consistency.
Add some full-fat cream into warm (not boiling) soup to supplement richness and texture after you’re done cooking the soup. Sour cream can also thicken soup effectively without taking away the flavor, but be sure not to boil the soup after adding the cream. Doing so will make the soup curdle and lose its consistency.
The Soup Itself
We’ll let you in on a little trick. If you don’t feel like adding anything to your soup to thicken it, you can use parts of the soup as the thickener. Yes, you read that right! To do this, remove some of the solids from the soup (the starches, aromatics, and meat) and blend it using a food processor. For best results, fill the processor no more than halfway (mix in batches if needed).
NOTE: Press down the blender lid with a paper towel and keep the top on for a few seconds after being done to make sure no loose solids fly out.
A few slices of bread can go a long way in making a soup creamy. Cut them into bits and let them soak in a cup or two of the boiling soup before transferring it back into the main pot.
Historically-speaking, nuts were one of the first soup thickeners used to make them creamier. Crush a handful of nuts until completely crumbled and are on the verge of becoming a paste. In a small pot, stir in the nuts together with some of the soup and then transfer it into the main pot. Cashews are a particularly great choice.
Make a Beurre Manié
We know it sounds fancy, but fear not. Mix some butter and flour into a thick paste, and then add and mix it into your soup until it has thoroughly combined. Adding beurre manié to your soup will thicken it in the same way a roux would.
Last but not least, coconut milk! One of the best dairy-free options. A quarter cup or so adds richness and creaminess without drastically altering the flavor of the soup. Feel free to experiment and use more for a subtle coconut flavor.
There you have it – your guide to how to make your soup recipes thicker. While some of them may not fit the kind of soup you love, it’s always a good idea to experiment. Happy cooking!