Thick Soup Explained
When thoughts go back to those icy cold days, with sweaters and scarves, leggings and boots, and those warm delicious thick soups, it reminds us of that cuddlesome spicy savouriness that winter brings.
Heart-warming and soul serving with that welcomed extra coziness, in the form of warm thick soups in satisfied tummies. Having a variety of flavours to choose from, and an entrée of dishes to pair it with, thick soups are always a winner on the table.
Here are the answers to your most sought after questions to help you enhance the flavours and texture of these winter warmers.
What Is Thick Soup?
The usual starter that is followed by an entrée, thick soups are known by a multitude of names. Soups can be thickened in different ways and if it is the UK thick soups that has tantalized your taste-buds then the potage, bisque, pureed or cream soups would be the choice for you.
Wanting to be first in line to show off their heart-warming features, this pallet teaser is always out to make a statement. Their unmistakable thick and silky textures are always a pleasure to devour and a complimentary mouthful to savour.
What Are Examples Of Thick Soups?
There are a variety of ways to prepare thick soups, and their preparation will determine which thick soup category they fall into. If it is a potage that you want, then a combination of boiled meat and vegetables will give you that thick savoury soup.
If you’re looking for smoothness then the bisque, thickened with rice would be the one. With its unmistakable shellfish flavour, the bisque is known for its extra creaminess. If you’re looking for a traditional favourite, then cream soups are preferred. The easiest way to make a soup is with the help of soup maker.
Here are a few examples of thick soups that you should try:
Brought together with a variety of vegetables, meat, chicken or seafood, pureed soups are naturally thickened with potatoes and legumes that not only change’s their texture, but also enhances their taste. Combine all these ingredients with a delicious broth or water and cook until tender. Run it through a blender and its smooth sailing all the way to your tummy.
Brought together with a delicious béchamel sauce or a broth of your choice, cream soups are the royals of the soup kingdom. If you prefer a cream soup with broth then an addition of cooked flour mixed with eggs and cream will give you a thickened, rich bowl of heart-warming soup. These are known to be amongst the favourites in the soup kingdom.
What Are The 3 Types Of Soup?
The 3 types of soups that have made themselves famous with their grand entrances are the bisque, cream and potage soups. A favourite in restaurant menus around the UK, and domestic dinner tables, these delicious starters are always pleasing to the palate. With a variety of ways to prepare them and a variety of ingredients to add to them, their promising tastes never falter. Defined by their ingredients and the simmering time, these 3 types of soups have paved their way into happy tummies.
Here is a peek into their world to help you differentiate between these famous 3:
Known to extract its flavour from shellfish, the bisque is a common method that produces a flavourful, thick textured soup. Originally made with shellfish that was considered as waste, the bisque method called for the shells to be finely ground and added to the soup. Using rice as the thickening agent, this full bodied soup is said to satisfy those hungry tummies.
Cream soups use a basic roux with an abundance of flavours that can be added to it. With a combination of ingredients of your choice, cream is added to soups to enhance its flavour, making it rich and creamy on the palate. Whether it is a cream of chicken, cream of mushroom or cream of tomato soup that you desire, the satisfaction is always guaranteed.
A familiar warmer amongst the French, the potage is a part of their history, as it is said to have made its way to the 21st century, from medieval times. A combination of meat and vegetables, that is boiled together with water until the vegetables turn to mush, aiding in the thickening of the broth. It is said that the addition of grains was an important part of the original recipe as it enhanced the quantity and texture of the soup. Slow cooked for several hours will produce a beautiful traditional potage.
How Do I Make Soup Thicker?
The variety of options available to make soups thicker are plenty, with choices between flour, corn flour, cooked rice, vegetables or cream, you can now prepare restaurant style soups for your family to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Depending on your preferred soup texture and flavour, any of these soup thickeners will give you that desired savoury taste. Make sure to patiently simmer your soup over medium heat to enhance the richness, as the secret to the tastiest thick soups are known to be in the simmering.
Here are a few methods to help you make soup thicker:
Corn flour as a soup thickener
Corn flour is a very versatile carbohydrate that is used in cereals and sauces, as it has the ability to thicken and give extra body to whatever it is added to. It has an immediate thickening reaction when dissolved in liquid and heated, and it a good addition in stews. Mixing a teaspoon or two of the corn flour with half a cup of water will form a slurry that you can pour into your almost cooked soup. The heat from the soup will immediately activate the corn flour allowing it to thicken. Preparing this slurry will avoid you the hassle of developing any lumps in your stew, as the water dissolves the corn flour, allowing for an even distribution in the broth. Although it alters the texture of the stew by thickening it, it does not change the taste in anyway.
Corn flour is added to cereals as part of our daily diets as it has many beneficial properties. It is gluten-free, is said to have a hand in reducing cholesterol levels, and is a good carbohydrate to have in moderation as part of your daily diet.
Roux as a soup thickener
Typically used in French cooking this clever combination has made its way to kitchens around the world, as it works as a magician in thickening stews and sauces. Classic French sauces like espagnole, veloute and béchamel use this roux as its main thickening agent. With an equal part combination of flour and fat ( preferably butter for extra richness), cooked together until lightly browned, this thickener changes the texture and also enriches the taste of your soups. Make sure to melt the butter before adding in the flour as it will avoid any lumps.
Oatmeal as soup thickener
Oatmeal can be added directly to the soup and as it cooks it will thicken the soup, however, if you don’t like the graininess of the oatmeal, then passing the dry oats through a blender with give you oat flour. This flour can be added directly to your soup, or mixed with water and then added in. Either way its ability to thicken the soup doesn’t falter.
Oats are a much better substitute than a bread thickener as it is a good carb that is recommended in your daily diet, as it has an ample amount of health benefits. You can use either rolled or instant oats for this method, just make sure to allow the stew to cook a little longer when you add in the oats.
Bread as a soup thickener
Bread as a soup thickener was made famous by the popular, delicious Italian soup ‘’Pappa al pomodoro’’ as it uses bread as the star ingredient to reach the required thickened texture. It is a simple method that produces delicious results.
Soaking the bread in water and whisking or blending it will produce a smooth texture. When this blend is added to the stew, it enhances the texture of the broth by giving it body. The end result is a beautifully thickened soup. Any variety of breads will work in this method, as bread is a starch that allows for the thickening in soups.
Coconut milk as a soup thickener
Used much in curries as thickeners and flavour enhances in Asian countries, coconut milk has advantages to not just thicken but to also add richness to many different dishes. Appreciated by those that are lactose intolerant, this delicious milk has the richness of whole milk with a natural sweetness that is good for your health and easy on your tummy. When added to soups it enhances the flavour and instantly thickens the texture ensuring a delicious bowl full of flavour.
If you are lactose intolerant and a fan of the delicious coconut flavour then this is definitely a recommended ingredient for you.
How to Make Thick Vegetable Soup?
When it comes to thick vegetable soup, the slow simmering of a variety of vegetables will ensure an enhanced flavourful end result. An addition of starchy vegetables like carrots, potatoes or pumpkin are good options to make vegetable soup thick, and if you are looking for enhanced flavour then why not add in some delicious legumes like lentils, peas or beans. This addition will surely give your soup the desired texture, making each mouthful a thick and satisfying warmer. Together with the rich vegetable broth, this is sure to be a tasty treat. Ensuring that all the flavours are equally extracted, a little addition of seasoning will seal the deal, giving you a luscious mouthful of your favourite vegetable soup.
How to Make Thick Tomato Soup?
With a variety of tomato soup recipes to choose from, thick tomato soup is always a favourite on the table. Gently simmered and pureed until smooth, the thick creamy texture can be achieved by adding cream or a slurry of corn flour and water. Either way, that savoury, winter warmer is always a welcomed addition to any meal.
Here Are 3 Of Our Favourite Thick Soup Recipes:
Thick Tomato Soup / Tomato Bisque
- 10ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 large can pureed tomatoes
- 5g Black pepper
- 5g Cayenne pepper
- 5g Paprika
- 30g white rice (uncooked)
- 10g sugar
- 250ml cream
- Salt to taste
- Chopped basil to garnish
Heat a thick bottomed sauce pan on medium heat. Add in olive oil, chopped onion and celery to the pan and let it cook until onion is translucent. Add in the broth and bring to a gentle boil. Now it’s time to add in the star of the show, the canned tomato. Follow this with the garlic, rice, and spices. Leave it to gently simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour, blend the tomato soup until smooth, add in the sugar and cream and stir. Add salt according to your preference. Garnish with a little more cream and the chopped basil. Serve while hot. Delicious tomato bisque is ready to devour.
Thick Vegetable Soup
- 10ml olive oil
- 4 cups mixed vegetables – (fresh or frozen will do)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 large potatoes chopped
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 60g white rice (uncooked)
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 5g Italian herbs
- 5g paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Basil to garnish
Heat a heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, chopped onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add in mixed veg, chopped potatoes, broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, garlic and spices. Stir all together and let it simmer on medium heat for an hour, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a further 20 minutes. You can enjoy this delicious chunky soup as is or, Puree until smooth and creamy and serve hot with a sprinkle of basil.
Thick Chicken and Mushroom Soup
- 10ml olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 celery sticks chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 300g deboned chicken thigh or breast chopped into bite size pieces
- 500ml chicken broth
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 200g button mushrooms sliced
- 10g Italian herbs
- 10g unsalted butter
- 30g corn flour
- 250ml cream
- Salt and pepper
Heat a heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat. Add in olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pot. Allow the chicken to fry until golden brown. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Add unsalted butter, onion and celery to the same pot, and cook on medium heat until celery and onion are translucent. Add in crushed garlic, chopped carrots, sliced mushrooms, bay leaf and Italian herbs and allow it to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the chicken and chicken broth, and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Make a slurry by mixing the corn flour with water and add it in. Stir the pot continuously, as the corn flour slurry will immediately thicken the chicken soup. Mix in the cream and remove from stove. Rich and creamy, thick chicken and mushroom soup is ready to serve.
Rich or creamy, with enhanced or natural flavours, is a choice that is left to you, to get that perfectly delicious thick soup.