To Thicken Soup In A Pinch, Look To Your Coffee Bar

Scenarios arise when cooking. Imagine you've done all the chopping, sautéing, and simmering necessary for a comforting soup, but it's thin and weak when you expect a thicker, heartier potage. Reducing it could work, but it will cut down on the overall volume and could leave certain ingredients hopelessly overcooked, and you have no cream or milk on hand. Well, if you have a well-stocked coffee station at home, all hope might not be lost as there are creative ways to use coffee creamer

Unsweetened, plain, non-dairy, powdered, and liquid creamers can be used to thicken soups that already have a creaminess to their constitution when dairy isn't available. The key here is to use a deft hand. Depending on the amount of soup that needs to be thickened, add a small amount of coffee creamer, about a tablespoon of liquid, or half a tablespoon of powder per quart of soup. 

Then let the soup simmer after the creamer has been stirred in and get out a spoon. Retrieve a spoonful and observe how it does or doesn't coat your utensil. Now give it a taste to see if the flavor and texture are on point — you can add a bit more creamer if things aren't yet adding up.

Which soups to bust out the coffee creamer for

It should go without saying that coffee creamer has no place in brothy soups since you'd likely not want to thicken those quite as much. Chicken noodle soup, consommé, and other clear versions would become cloudy and unrecognizable with coffee creamer added, as they would if dairy was added. Roasted tomato soup is a toss-up as some folks like to make theirs luxurious with a dose of creaminess, while others opt for a bit more natural flavor. 

But there are a host of other soups that can take a dose of coffee creamer to build the base, such as chowders, vichyssoise, and bisque. A classic creamy number is a roast potato and sweet corn chowder, which already gets some thickness from the starchy stars of the show as well as milk or cream. Another variety this works well in is broccoli cheddar soup because of its thicker consistency.