The Creamy Addition That Will Elevate Your Chicken Noodle Soup

There's nothing like a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup to warm you up and soothe what ails you. In classic recipes, noodles, shredded chicken, and the occasional carrot provide tender bites of sustenance in a mild, savory broth. It's chunky, light, and utterly nourishing, but as a broth-based soup, it's decidedly not creamy.

Making chicken noodle soup creamy can elevate it to a higher level of comfort, requiring only the simple addition of heavy cream and cornstarch. Heavy cream offers an ultra-rich, milky flavor and velvety texture that's considerably thicker than broth. Cornstarch, a common and widely available ingredient, serves as a thickening and binding agent for both savory and sweet dishes. When it comes into contact with a liquid, cornstarch expands and absorbs some of it, thereby thickening the mixture. If you've ever wondered what gives kung pao or orange chicken sauces their gel-like thickness, the answer is cornstarch! As a tasteless ingredient, it allows the heavy cream to work its flavorful magic without interference.

Adding cornstarch and cream to chicken noodle soup

Incorporating cornstarch and cream into soup can be a simple yet transformative step, performed at the end of the cooking process. This thick, creamy mixture elevates watery broth into a luxuriously hearty base for the soup's chunky ingredients. It can also correct overly salty broth and enrich the savoriness of the chicken and any vegetables you might add. This approach serves as a straightforward alternative to the more time-consuming and finicky task of making a roux with butter and flour.

To execute this, simply make a slurry using heavy cream and cornstarch, then pour the mixture into the heated soup. Vigorously whisk the cornstarch into the cream to ensure it dissolves completely; this will allow for an almost immediate creamy transformation when added to the soup. Another tip is to ensure the soup is hot but not boiling before adding the slurry, as this helps prevent the cream from curdling into unpleasant lumps.