It’s fall, or as most on Twitter call it, “soup time,” the season of soup-eating. Soothing noodle soups, hearty beef and veggies, and rich, creamy vegetable soups—all are valid, but the latter seems to dominate once the foliage begins to change. There’s something about a velvety bowl of the stuff that screams “autumn,” and the only thing that can kill the mood is a watery mouthfeel.
Add to sour creamfresh cream, butter, or a mixture of butter and flour can all help, but this can also dull the flavor of your veggies –and not everyone can eat dairy. Luckily, we have plenty of (dairy-free, btw) ways to ensure your soups get the body they deserve.
Thicken Your Soups With Vegetables (and Fat)
The easiest way to thicken a creamy vegetable soup is to use it the vegetables themselves. Blending a portion of the cooked veggies adds body without diluting the flavor, as does the flavor is the vegetable. Leeks are particularly suitable with their high fiber and pectin content.
If you want your soup to be extra silky, make sure you provide a source of fat for the veggies to emulsify with. Butter, olive oil, rendered poultry fat – all of these things will work; Aim for a 1/2 cup ratio for every four servings of soup. Cook the vegetables in this fat until the vegetables are completely tender. Add the broth or broth, bring to a boil, let simmer for a few minutes, then toss until there are no discernible chunks of vegetables. Need a recipe to get started? To attempt This one here.
Add mashed potatoes
Starch is a very effective thickening agent, and potatoes are full of it. Both leftover mashed potatoes and instant mashed potatoes can be used to thicken soups and stews – simply mix with the liquid portion.
If you’re using leftover mashed potatoes, follow this procedure (which we have previously covered):
For every cup of broth, use about 1 cup of cold mashers and use an immersion blender to puree them into the broth before bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add cheese to taste, and cook until your soup is velvety and smooth.
If you don’t start with a clear broth or use instant mashed potatoes, simply add spoonfuls of mashed potatoes (or potato flakes) and puree with an immersion blender between each addition until you reach it desired viscosity.
Bean it on
Beans are incredible little fellows, packed with fiber, protein and flavor, and they read creamy rather than beany when blended. White beans are particularly soft. take a can cthenellini or others similar Beans, mix up a cup and then add the bean puree to your soup. Let simmer, stir and serve. Repeat throughout soup season until full.