Soups can easily make for a tasty meal that combines all kinds of nutritious ingredients. They are highly recommended in cold weather when you need something warm and filling. It is also in cold weather that people often forget to drink enough water, making soup a great option that can stave off winter dehydration and maintain the 60% water content that makes up an adult body. Other benefits of soup include:
- being easy to prepare
- being inexpensive
- freezing well
- boosting the immune system
However, it is very easy to end up making thin soup. Watery soup often lacks the desired flavor and texture to make for an enjoyable meal. Most experienced chefs will use cornstarch as a quick solution. Luckily, there are several other ways you can thicken your soup with easily available kitchen ingredients and end up with a healthy and delicious result.
Replace the fat
Where you often have meat as one of the ingredients to your soup, you will certainly observe fat forming on the surface of your soup. Cooks will typically skim off this fat to help preserve the flavor of the soup. Limiting your saturated fat intake to just 13 grams a day can also lower the risk of high cholesterol. From using a spoon to ice, there are many ways you can accomplish this. When removing the fat, you do lose some of the more solid ingredients of the soup so replacing it with something of similar consistency can help keep the soup nice and thick.
You can do this with some full-fat cream or cream cheese, which can add a wonderfully rich and creamy texture and flavor. If you are counting your calories, you can opt for thinner milk, fat-free cream, or yogurt. These options will however offer a less creamy outcome. Start with a few tablespoons and keep adding till you feel the consistency is to your liking.
Vegetables are a great way to thicken and add better nutrition and flavor to just about any dish. There is often a tendency to strip off tougher fibers and seeds to create a soup with a smoother consistency. Leaving in these parts can however add more thickness and chunkiness to your dish. Be careful about seeds as in some cases it can change the taste. Like with fresh chilies whose seeds will make for a much spicier kick.
If you feel the result will be too chunky, consider pureeing using a blender. Use a slotted spoon to take out the whole vegetables and blend them before adding them back. Even tough fibers can be shredded into a smooth consistency and used to add extra thickness.
Make your soup recipes thicker
If you are looking for how to thicken sauce without cornstarch, then consider boosting the number of solid ingredients you make. If previous attempts have proven watery, reducing the liquids and adding more of the solid ingredients may help.
Blending is another option. You can take out a portion of the soup, blend it, and add it back. You can also use an immersion blender. Be careful to run it in short bursts if you do not want to lose all the chunkiness. You can also try cooking your soup for longer. Letting your soup simmer for a while longer with the lid off can encourage evaporation and lead to a thicker soup.
Use grains and spices
Many grains can add varying levels of thickness and chunkiness to your soup depending on their size. Some great options include:
Ensure you factor in their color if aesthetics matter to you. Be sure to cook them till tender first before blending and adding to the soup. If the soup is too watery, you may want to add them while less cooked to soak up more of the liquid.
Spices can also offer various health benefits, but many tend to have strong flavors and aromas that can alter your dish. For instance, turmeric imparts a strong yellow hue while cayenne makes for a strong spicy taste. Be aware of what different spices can add to your soup besides thickness.
Add soft herbs at the end
Herbs are another way to make your soup thicker and more nutritious. Many are a rich source of vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system. They however tend to also have distinct flavors that can be minty, sweet, woody, floral, spicy, and much more. Look up appropriate pairings of herbs for the soup recipe you have chosen to enrich it without changing that flavor profile too much. Be sure to add them towards the end of cooking as this will help preserve their appearance and flavor.
There are many ingredients you can use in your kitchen to create a rich thick soup. Some may affect flavor, while others will enhance it. Try out different options to figure out what works best for you in creating that signature dish everyone will come to appreciate.