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How to Thicken Soup

Soup is great in the colder months and warms you from the inside out. I love making chicken noodle soup in the Fall and Winter.

Have you ever run into the problem where your soup came out too watery and you needed to thicken it somehow? I am going to give you the 4 best ways of how to thicken the soup.

a bowl of soup

How to thicken soup is easy and can be done by simply adding in some cornstarch, flour, or a roux. Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or flour with a tablespoon of cold water making sure that it isn’t clumpy and then add it to the soup and allow it like 10-15 minutes to thicken up.

4 best ways to thicken soup

When you are in a jam and you have to thicken soup you can go about it a few ways and it won’t change the flavor too much if at all.

I am going to tell you how to thicken it using cornstarch, flour, roux, or using a starch like rice or noodles.

You can always serve your soup with a French baguette, sliced bread, or roll and soak up the extra broth of your soup that way as well. Check out this post on what to serve with beef stew.

1. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a great thickening agent to use for broth or cream-based soups and doesn’t change the flavor of your soup.

It is very important to mix the cornstarch with cold water in a separate bowl before you incorporate it into the soup.

If you don’t mix them together before you add them into the soup then the cornstarch will clump and it is impossible to get the clumps to dissolve into the soup.

You will end up with powdery clumps that are unpleasant when you are eating.

Be sure to use cold water when you mix them together using a 1:1 ratio. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Stir the mixture in and allow it 10-15 minutes to thicken the soup.

2. Flour

Flour acts similarly to cornstarch and can also be used in both broth and cream-based soups.

Using the same 1:1 ratio, mix together 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of cold water and mix them together until incorporated.

Add the flour-water to your soup and stir it in well. Let it sit on simmer for 10-15 minutes and you will see your soup thicken up. It is important to let the flour cook!

You may need to add a little more of the flour and water mixture if you haven’t reached your desired thickness.

This also works great if you’re trying to thicken beef stew.

3. Roux

If you are trying to thicken a cream-based soup like a chowder or cream of broccoli using a roux is great to use as a thickening agent.

A roux is a mix of fat; butter, oil or lard, and flour. Most commonly butter is the fat used.

You want to melt butter in a saucepan and little by little add in your flour. You want to use equal parts starting with 1/2 cup each.

It is imperative that you continue to stir because the butter will burn easily and quickly. Make sure your butter is not expired.

You will notice the two start to mix into a slurry and start turning a beige color and you will know then that your roux is done.

You can add in a little cream or milk to loosen it a little and then add it into your soup stirring until it is completely mixed in.

4. Starch

Adding in rice or pasta will help in soaking up some of the excess liquid and keep its flavor as it is absorbed into the starch.

Using starch like pasta or rice very much depends on what kind of soup you are making.

Once your soup is boiling add in your rice or pasta and allow 5-7 minutes for it to cook and thicken the soup.

Potatoes are another great addition to soups and chowders that will thicken nicely. You will want to add them raw and allow them time to soften.

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