Cooking Questions: Soup

Find answers to frequently asked questions about preparing soup.

I added too much salt or hot pepper to my soup. What can I do to fix it?
The only way you can fix it is by adding more of the other ingredients to dilute it and balance it out. A commonly-suggested trick, adding potatoes, does not work. We suggest that, when adding any spice to a dish, add it in very small amounts and taste frequently. When adding salt, wait until the end of the cooking process, as soups will reduce and concentrate the flavors as the liquid evaporates.

Italian Sausage Soup

Photo by Heather

What is the best way to thin a soup that is too thick?
It’s as simple as adding liquid: a little more cream, broth, water, or wine. Gradually stir in more liquid until your soup reaches the perfect consistency.

Isn’t there an easy way to thicken my soup?
There are many! The simplest is to cook it with the lid off: the water will evaporate, resulting in a thicker soup. You can also puree soups in batches in a food processor or using an immersion blender for added texture. Mashed potato flakes or heavy cream stirred in a little at a time also make good thickeners.

What is a roux?
A roux is a thickening agent made from equal amounts of flour and fat that is commonly found in sauces, gravies, soups, and Cajun/Creole cookery. A roux is great to use for thickening soups. See All About Roux for more information.

What is the best way to freeze soup?
The best way to freeze anything is to let it cool completely, divide it up into portions, and seal it in an airtight, moisture-proof container before putting it in the freezer. To safely cool a large pot of soup, place the pot in a sink-full of ice water, stirring occasionally, until room temperature. Never put full pots into the refrigerator to chill.

If you’re making extra soup to freeze, stop cooking it just before the vegetables are tender. When you freeze, thaw, and then reheat it, you will finish the cooking process. If your soup contains raw eggs or delicate vegetables, leave them out entirely before you freeze the soup. Frozen, thawed and reheated eggs, greens, and potatoes won’t come out quite the same the second time around.

Find your favorite soup recipes.

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