Take Canned Soups Up A Notch With A Splash Of Cream

Allow us to set the scene: You just scarfed down a can of microwaved soup on your 30-minute lunch break, and you're still hungry. You thought it would be enough to tide you over, but it wasn't, and now you don't have enough time to go track down something else to eat. Looks like you'll be completing your shift (or school day) hungry, again. Don't let this be you. Bulk up that canned soup with a splash of cream.

Not only can they veer on the non-filling side, but canned soups also tend to be a little, well, boring. What we want is a thick, luscious soup — a soup that clings to your spoon and sticks to your ribs. Heavy cream is the ideal tool for the job, but for plant-based foodies, full-fat oat milk or soy milk also works to instantly add body. A little goes a long way, so just add a splash at a time, stirring between each addition until you reach your desired consistency. No heavy cream on hand? Milk and butter work, too, as do canned evaporated milk, coconut milk, or tangy Greek yogurt.

How to add cream to your canned soup

This tip works especially well in soups that already have a dairy component like chowders, broccoli cheddar soup, or cream-based potato soups. Otherwise, keep an eye out for creamy alternatives that won't curdle. This tip also applies to lentil and bean soups. In place of cream, pureed veggies like squash or cauliflower will get the job done, too.

It's all about timing and technique. To prevent it from curdling, add the cream to your canned soup before heating it all together. Alternatively, gently warm the soup and the cream in separate pots, then add the cream little by little as the soup continues to heat. Particularly acidic soups are more likely to make cream curdle, including any tomato-based soup or a soup made with vinegar or cooking wine. Rest assured, you can still transform your canned tomato soup into a restaurant-worthy (kind of) tomato bisque. Just exercise a little extra care as you incorporate your dairy component. When working with more volatile soups like these, it's a good idea to temper the cream by adding small spoonfuls of the warm soup to the cream, and then adding the cream into the soup in small batches. You could also add half your can of soup and a few splashes of cream to a blender and puree, incorporating the reserved half of your canned soup for a reimagined version with a silkier, more interesting texture.