Coconut Milk Is Your Gateway Ingredient To Instant Puréed Soups

Anytime the name of a soup begins with "cream of," you know it is going to be good. But you also know it's going to be heavy on the dairy. When you want a smooth, velvety soup without the heaviness of cream, coconut milk can rise to the occasion. Coconut milk is also a good substitute for making soups vegan, omitting dairy because of an allergy, or simply due to taste preference.

The type of coconut milk that you would drink straight or add to your coffee is too thin, but canned coconut milk is thick enough to have the same creaminess you expect from dairy products. The biggest thing to keep in mind with this swap is that, depending on the soup, the finished product may take on some of the coconut flavor, more so than it would with heavy cream. But in some recipes for puréed soups, like cream of carrot or winter squash, this added flavor is sure to be more than welcome.

How to use coconut milk in puréed soups

In the grocery store, you can find cans of coconut milk or coconut cream. Either of these will make a good substitution for heavy cream, though you should be aware that coconut cream will lead to an even thicker texture than the milk. You can substitute coconut milk for heavy cream in a recipe at a 1:1 ratio, making it an easy conversion if you keep a few cans of coconut milk on hand in your cupboard.

For this to work best, pick puréed soup recipes that will pair well with a nutty, creamy, slight coconut flavor. Try this cauliflower potato soup recipe or experiment with the silkiness of this cream of celery soup. Coconut milk can also serve as a nice canvas for a soup that calls for significant aromatics or spices. For example, it gives this one-pot Thai coconut soup some creaminess and flavor balance. If you don't end up using the entire can, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.