What is the best way to thicken soup?
Even the best soup recipes aren’t perfect unless they have the right texture or level of thickness.
A thick, rich broth is a delicious winter warmer.
After blending your ingredients, if your soup is still looking a little thin or watery, there are several ways to thicken it - and you can find most of these thickening agents in your pantry.
Depending on the type of soup you have made, here are the six main techniques to learn how to thicken your soup.
1. Puree part of the ingredients.
If your broth contains chunks of meat or vegetables, such as minestrone soup, a fantastic method to help thicken it is to pour the soup through a sieve.
After the liquid has been separated from the chunks, put two thirds of it back into the soup.
Then take a third of the ingredients and blend or mash them together.
This method works best with soups containing starchy ingredients such as potato, beans, rice, pasta or vegetables.
Ensure there are no bones in the chunks of meat before putting them in a blender.
2. Add extra cream or yoghurt
If your soup is too thin and already as a creamy texture, adding a spoonful of cream or yoghurt is an effective way to thicken it.
Broths such as mushroom, tomato or pumpkin soup are best for this method.
The soup should not be boiled after the cream or yoghurt has been added or it may split.
If you are vegan, coconut milk can be used as an alternative instead of cream or yoghurt.
3. Use a butter and flour paste (buerre manié or roux)
This way is most effective while the soup is still simmering.
Flour and butter paste, also known as buerre manié, is a great thickening agent.
Simply mix 2 tsp of flour with 2 tsp soft butter and stir the paste into the soup.
The butter helps disperse the flour through the broth, giving it a thicker texture. Soups such as pea and ham are perfect for this thickening technique.
4. How to thicken soup with flour or cornflour
Flour or cornflour mixed with the soup will immediately thicken a watery broth.
Place a tablespoon of either product into a bowl and stir through 2-3 tsp of the soup until it combines.
Then add this to the broth until it has mixed in, cooking it through for a few more minutes.
5. Blend through bread or croutons
Cut-up pieces of bread or croutons can easily thicken soup. Use plain bread if you don’t want to disrupt the flavour, or a sourdough if you want extra flavour.
Ensure the bread is soaked in water to soften it before blending it with the soup. This technique works best with tomato soup.
6. Add potatoes, eggs, lentils or rice
Cooked potatoes, lentils or rice can be mashed up or pureed and blended with soup to add more body and thicken the broth. Bread crumbs are also an effective technique. Adding lentils works well with chicken soup in particular.
When your soup has reached it’s desired thickness, remove it from heat and allow your delicious broth to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Soup recipes to try
Cream of chicken soup
April GloverApril Glover is News Editor at New Idea magazine. She has been a journalist covering breaking news, real-life, celebrity and lifestyle topics across titles in Australia, New Zealand and the UK for five years.