The Best Way to Thicken Potato Soup

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Rich, thick potato soup makes a satisfying meal
Rich, thick potato soup makes a satisfying meal (Image: Azurita/iStock/Getty Images)

Thick, creamy potato soup is rich and satisfying. If your soup is too thin, there are a number of ways to make it thicker. From adjusting your basic recipe to adding thickening ingredients such as corn starch or flour, making your soup heartier doesn't take much expertise, just a little spud soup know-how.

Starting From Scratch

Perhaps the best way to create a thick, rich soup is to cut back on the liquid ingredients in the first place. If you find your current recipe thins the soup too much, reduce the amount of water, milk or broth you add next time you whip up a batch. You can also replace some of the liquid with thicker ingredients, such as sour cream, yogurt or cream.

One Potato, Two Potato

The headliner in potato soup is already a naturally thick vegetable. If you find your potato soup is too thin, simply add more potatoes in the form of boiled, mashed potatoes or some instant mashed potato flakes. Start by thickening a quart of soup with just one or two more pureed potatoes, or a half cup of instant flakes. Continue adding until the soup reaches the desired consistency. This also works when trying to thicken soup made in a crock pot.

Other Thickening Ingredients

One of the easiest ways to thicken almost any soup is to make a roux out of flour and shortening. You can use butter, olive or other vegetable oil, or lard. Add equal amounts of white wheat flour to hot shortening and stir until thick. Do not add roux directly to soup or your soup will be lumpy. Instead, add a little soup to the roux and stir until thickened. Add thickened roux to the soup, stirring constantly.

Cornstarch is another natural thickener. Add one cup of cold liquid to two tablespoons of cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Slowly add the mixture to the hot soup, stirring constantly. Bring the soup to a low boil and cook for about one minute.

Cheese can also add thickness and flavor to thin potato soup. Stir in some grated cheddar or Monterey jack and bring the soup to a simmer.

The Reduction Method

As soup cooks, some of the liquid leaves the pot as steam. To thicken potato soup without adding additional ingredients, allow it to simmer for a longer period on the stove. Be careful to prevent the soup from scorching or burning by stirring frequently. The longer the soup simmers, the softer the potatoes will become. If you prefer your spuds to have a firmer texture, reduction may not be the best way to thicken your soup.

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