Amp Up The Richness Of Any Soup With A Little Leftover Gravy

Dinner parties and celebrations are hardly complete without a gravy boat on the side, bringing life to plain old mashed potatoes and making roasted chicken much more enticing. With just how delicious this classic staple is, it certainly isn't hard to go overboard and make extra, which means you may end up with leftovers. The good news is that there's no need to throw it away, not when you can repurpose gravy and bring the magic to so many other dishes — like soups, for example.

The specific ingredients of gravy may vary from recipe to recipe, but in general, it almost always consists of flour, fat, meat broth, and a few spices. Although seemingly simple, this simmering combination creates a luscious, rich, savory sauce that can make just about anything better. With soups and stews, it adds depth of flavor, making each spoonful just as comforting as it is gratifying. Whether we're talking chicken soup, cream soup, or anything else, it never fails to bring great intricacy to the overall flavor profile.

Then, there's also the textural enhancement. Gravy lends a velvety consistency that thickens soup, adding even more indulgence to the pre-existent wholesomeness. It coats the food morsels in a silky smoothness that slowly melts the enthralling flavors onto the taste buds for a truly satisfying eating experience.

The unexplored magic of leftover gravy in soups

Generally speaking, there are two main ways to add leftover gravy to enhance soups and stews. You can either sauté the gravy alongside the meat and veggies that will go into the pot, or stir it in later on, alongside the broth and other liquid ingredients. The first method gives a more concentrated flavor with each bite whereas the second disperses flavor all over, giving you a heartier, more umami broth.

While you're at it, don't hesitate to include any other leftovers that you might have into the pot. Add shredded roasted turkey or chicken for a savory, smoky touch as well as packing the soup with a bit of extra protein. Leftover grains and legumes such as cooked rice, quinoa, or lentils are also great choices when you want the soup to be more substantial. 

Stale bread comes to life again in soups, too. You can slice the bread pieces into cubes and then quickly bake them to make fun little croutons to go on top, as in a French onion soup. Alternatively, you can simply tear the bread into small pieces and add them directly into the soup or stew. Either way, it's a nice way to thicken the overall texture and make the dish much more filling.