The Easiest Way to Thicken a Soup

published Jan 14, 2015
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

After simmering your soup until everything’s melded together and tasty, what do you do if the texture’s just a little too thin for your liking but everything else is perfect? Here’s an easy technique to help thicken your soup without the need for any additional cream, flour, fat, or other ingredients.

Making soup doesn’t really require a recipe. All you need are some aromatics, vegetables, maybe some meat, and some time for everything to simmer together in broth.

But sometimes you added too much broth, the vegetables released more liquid than you anticipated, or you can’t cook it any longer to reduce the liquid because the vegetables will overcook and turn to mush. So what can you do?

The answer is simple: just blend some of it. This works especially well when your soup contains starchy ingredients like beans or potatoes and even works with chilis (but this technique will not work in soups with meat bones in it unless the bones have been removed first).

Pureeing some of the soup will naturally thicken it without the need for additional cooking time or the use of an artificial thickener like a slurry which can change the soup’s flavor.

(Image credit: Shebeko)

3 Ways to Blend and Thicken Your Soup

Here are three ways to easily thicken your soup:

  1. Use a potato masher. Just grab that potato masher and smash down into the soup pot, stirring once in awhile, until the soup is at the consistency you like.
  2. Use a regular blender. Take a cup or two of the soup, making sure to ladle up the chunky stuff, and throw it into a blender. Blend until smooth, then stir it back into your soup. If the soup still isn’t thick enough, blend some more of it.
  3. Use a hand blender. The hand blender is the perfect tool for this task. Just place it in the soup and give it a few buzzes. Stir the soup, assess the texture, and buzz some more until you’ve got the soup exactly where you like it.