The Simple Way To Stabilize Yogurt When Adding To Hot Soups

Yogurt is a common ingredient in many home kitchens, cherished for its creaminess and tangy flavor. It can make your dishes, like stews and hot soups, creamier in texture and more flavorful with its acidity. However, its addition to hot soup often leads to an undesirable separation. We call this breaking or splitting in culinary terms. This phenomenon occurs as the proteins in yogurt tighten up — or congeal — upon interacting with heat.

The fats quickly split apart from the liquids when yogurt meets the hot fluid environment of soup like chicken or vegetable broth. The result is a visually unappealing soup with oil slicks and curdled yogurt bits. Fortunately, you can avoid this culinary mishap when you stabilize the yogurt first before adding it to the hot soup. To do so, we must introduce binders, emulsifying agents, and thickeners like egg yolks and cornstarch to stabilize yogurt. 

When whisked directly with the yogurt, the egg yolks and the cornstarch will create a bond between the fats and liquid of the yogurt, thus stabilizing them. When you add this now-stabilized mixture into hot soup, the yogurt will maintain its integrity and no longer break apart.

The versatility of stabilized yogurt

The next time you want to add yogurt to your hot soup, whisk it up nicely with an egg yolk and about one tablespoon of cornstarch first. Be sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Then, gradually add it to your hot soup, stirring it with a whisk or spatula continuously. Once thickened and cooked through, your delicious soup is ready for serving and enjoyment. 

This stabilized yogurt hot soup trick can work wonders in various dishes, like when you want to add a rich, creamy dimension to your vegetable soups or to imbue your protein stews with a luscious tang and thickness. For your spicy soups and dishes, yogurt plays a balancing and cooling act, so this stabilized yogurt mixture would be perfect when mixed in your spicier curries and lentil soups. The tang of the yogurt shines through, enhancing the soup's depth of flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients. Plus, the cornstarch in the mix contributes to a thicker, more satisfying texture, making the soup satiating. 

Remember, the next time you're inspired to add a touch of creamy tanginess to your hot soup, be sure to stabilize your yogurt first by simply adding two common kitchen staples: egg yolk and cornstarch.