How to Thicken A Soup: 3 Options For Home Cooks

Tomato soup in a white bowl

Have you ever been cooking a soup, only to feel like it is too thin? Many thick, hearty, or creamy soups are best enjoyed when they have been thickened in one way or another. However, when a soup is too thin, it may not be as delicious as it can be if it was thick enough. Many home cooks find themselves wondering how to thicken a soup, and there are a few different ways: cooking the soup longer to remove excess liquid, blending some of the solid ingredients of the soup, or using food scraps like bread or potatoes to thicken the soup, but if you don’t have time to wait, you can use a thickening agent. 

The three main ingredients you can use to thicken a soup are flour, cornstarch, and xantham gum. 

1. How to Thicken Soup With Flour

If you find yourself wondering how to thicken a soup in a pinch, one of the easiest ways is to use flour. Most cooks already have flour in their pantry, so this is a go-to solution for many people wondering how to thicken a soup. Flour can be used to thicken a soup because of the gluten and protein found in flour. Once wet, the gluten in the flour will expand and create a paste that will help to thicken your soup.

In order to thicken a soup with flour, take a small portion of it, and mix in the flour until it is fully dissolved. Once the flour has been absorbed into the soup, mix the flour and soup with the rest of the soup, and your soup will be thickened! If the soup is still too thin, repeat the process until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

How Much Flour to Thicken Soup?

For a regular size pot of soup (4-6 quarts), start with 1 tablespoon, or 8 grams, of all-purpose flour. If the flour is lumpy, be sure to sift the flour before mixing it with a small bowl of soup. If the desired results are not achieved avatar 1 tablespoon, mix another tablespoon into another small bowl of hot soup, and repeat until the soup is thick.

2. How to Thicken Soup With Cornstarch

Cornstarch, or corn flour, can be used to thicken soup through its high starch content. Cornstarch is a great thickener for soup because only a little bit is needed to significantly thicken a soup, and it will not affect the flavor profile of the soup. 

  1. Start by combining one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and stirring the mixture until it forms a thick paste with no lumps.
  2. Next, slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering soup, stirring continuously as you go.
  3. Continue stirring for several minutes or until the soup starts to thicken.

Finally, test the thickness of the soup before removing it from heat and make adjustments if needed (e.g., adding more slurry).

It’s important to note that using too much cornstarch can result in an overly thick or gummy texture, so be sure to add it in small increments until you get the desired consistency!

How Much Cornstarch to Thicken Soup?

Start by using 1 tablespoon of cornstarch at a time, mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. More cornstarch slurry can be added, but be sure not to add too much. Only mix in a small amount of slurry at a time to ensure that your soup will thicken properly. 

Using corn starch is a fast, effective way to thicken soup. Click to read about more time-saving cooking hacks in the kitchen.

3. How to Use Xanthan Gum to Thicken Soup

Xanthan Gum is a thickener that is created by fermenting and processing carbohydrates. While many home cooks may not already have Xanthan Gum in their pantry, it is an effective tool when wondering how to thicken a soup or other dishes. Click to read about more must-haves for your pantry.

Xanthan Gum must be used sparingly, too much can turn lumpy and negatively affect the flavor. Xanthan Gum is slightly controversial, as there are some health complications that can arise from using Xanthan Gum for certain people. 

How Much Xanthan Gum to Thicken Soup?

Take a small bowl of your soup, and blend or whisk in ½ a teaspoon until the Xanthan Gum is fully dissolved. Once all the clumps are gone, slowly stir the mixture into the rest of the soup until the desired thickness is achieved. 

Never Worry About Thickening Soup Again

Instead of wondering how to thicken a soup if you haven’t achieved the results you want, consider ordering meal kits from Gobble. Gobble delivers precisely portioned, fresh ingredients right to your door. Every recipe is developed by in-house chefs that will come together perfectly following the included recipes. Whether you are looking to eat lean & clean, or just looking for some classic, deliciously simple meals, Gobble has the right menu for you. Cooking meals with Gobble in 15 minutes or less will ensure you’re eating amazing dishes, that don’t require any last-minute thickening or adjusting. 

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