The Vegetable You Can Use To Easily Thicken Soup

What makes good soup? That depends on who you ask and what soup you make. According to Real Simple, liquids, aromatics, and volumizing ingredients are the key components of any delicious soup or stew. The quantity and flavor of each can determine if you make a smooth, creamy concoction like Silky Cream of Celery Soup; a salty, rich French onion soup; or a spicy, flavorful Thai Chicken Noodle Soup. When it comes to this warm, comforting meal, the possibilities are endless.

Whichever soups tickle your fancy, there are a plethora of ways to nail just the texture you're looking for. For extra-smooth bowls, Bon Appétit recommends a French method called à l'étouffée, or steaming vegetables in liquid. If you'd like to add a bit of crunch to each spoonful, try topping your bowl with tortilla strips, toasted nuts, or croutons -– just match the topping's flavor profile with the soup you're making (via Guideposts). To turn chunky soups into creamy ones, Real Simple suggests using an immersion blender, so you won't have to struggle to pour a hot pot of soup into a full-size blender. And if you're looking for a thick, rich soup, look no further than your vegetable drawer.

Add cauliflower for a silky texture

If chunky vegetables in your soup don't sound too appealing, there are a ton of creamy vegetable soup recipes out there, like this Classic Potato Leek Soup. But how can you achieve an indulgent, thick texture using only vegetables? Frugal Cooking recommends adding cauliflower, which provides a silky texture without all the fat found in cream. Just blend cooked cauliflower with your broth and add the mixture to your soup. According to Bon Appétit, cauliflower rice will achieve the same thing and will act as a thickening agent in your soup or stew without you having to cut up cauliflower. And if you are chopping up a whole cauliflower, don't worry about dicing it up evenly since it will get blended up eventually.

For added depth of flavor, try roasting your cauliflower, instead of steaming or boiling it, before adding it to your soup. Brooklyn Homemaker shares that this extra step pays off in a less cabbage-y taste and an even creamier texture once blended. There are other ways to thicken a soup, of course, and Bon Appétit notes that you can also add boiled potatoes, crustless bread, or coconut milk. Another technique is to add mashed lentils or cannellini beans, Southern Living shares, or even hummus, an unconventional condiment to help thicken up the soup. These options are also fairly healthy, simple, and inexpensive. But they may not provide the exact rich creaminess that cauliflower can.