Soups and stews help to keep you warm on a cold day and they hydrate the body during an illness. Cooking homemade stews with stock, water and seasonings helps to infuse the dish with flavors. Adding too much liquid to a soup can cause it to have a thin texture. While the thin stew may seem ruined, you can thicken the stew instead of discarding it. Flour thickens stew quickly and gives it the desired texture.
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Measure Stew Amount
Determine exactly how much stew you prepared. Pour the stew into a measuring bowl or estimate the amount of liquid that you used. Knowing the exact amount of stew will determine how much flour you need to add to thicken it. If you add too much flour, it will become too thick and lumps may form. If you do not add enough flour, then you will have to spend more time in the kitchen until you figure out how much you need for the stew to thicken properly.
Flour and Water
Add 1 1/2 tsp. of all-purpose flour for each cup of stew. Measure the precise amount of flour that you need to thicken the stew. Place the flour into a measuring bowl or glass. Add twice the amount of cold water, stock or milk to the flour to create a thick paste. Stir the ingredients well to remove any lumps of flour. Turn the heat up on the stew to bring it to a boil. Pour the mixture into the stew. Stir the stew to mix the paste well. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes and stir it frequently.
Flour and Butter
Alternatively, you can combine 1 1/2 tsp. of butter with 1 1/2 tsp. of flour for each cup of liquid in the stew. Combining these two ingredients makes a roux. Pour the combined butter and flour into a new pot large enough to hold the soup. Cook the roux mixture over medium-low heat until it darkens. Pour the stew carefully into the new pot and bring all the ingredients to a boil. Stir the soup frequently until it thickens and becomes smooth. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the stew until you are ready to serve it.
Combine 1 tbsp. of flour with 1 cup of the hot liquid from the stew. Stir the flour to combine it well with the stew. Pour the slurry into the stew and stir it frequently to remove any lumps. Continue to stir the stew until it thickens. Allow the soup to simmer for five to 10 minutes. Remove another cup of soup liquid and add 1 tbsp. of flour if the soup does not appear thick enough. This method works well if you do not know exactly how much soup you have, and it allows you to thicken the soup carefully.