Just because you’re giving up dairy products doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a perfectly thick, creamy vegan soup. Bust out your pots, ladles and blenders, as we’re teaching you the tools of the vegan trade: how to make a creamy soup without any cream. Or butter. And right in time for a few winter suppers to come.
Use any of these simple tricks in your beloved soup recipe to make it thick and creamy. No need to churn the butter for these soups, you’re going moo-free.
Make a roux.
A roux is just a fancy chef word for a flour-based sauce, typically made by cooking flour in butter and then adding milk. The mixture of fat, milk, and flour cooks into one killer thick sauce, which is a great base for any creamy soup. But we’re talking vegan, so the butter — out, and the milk — out. Here’s how you do it: Gently cook equal parts flour and margarine (about 2 tablespoons each) in a saucepan over medium, stirring constantly, until the flour turns golden. Add about a cup of rich nondairy milk (I recommend hemp milk, for its high fat content) to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking. Once your mixture is good and thick, you can add it to any soup to give it that creamy, velvety touch. Or toss the whole thing in the blender for a pureed soup.
Add grains to the pot.
Once you’ve got all your sautéed veggies, spices (need help choosing which to use?), and broth in the pot, add a handful of grains to the simmering soup — rice, quinoa, and oats are excellent choices, as they get a bit mushy as they cook. When the soup is done cooking and the grains are good and soft, toss everything into a food processor and blend away. Or, only blend some of the soup for a chunkier effect.
Add starchy veggies to the pot.
Yup, same effect as above. Add cubed pieces of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, or any other starchy veggie to the soup. Puree and smooth away.
Make a kuzu slurry.
A wah?! Kuzu is an Asian root that’s incredibly starchy and thickens liquids, sort of like a cornstarch, but more effective and actually good for you (it helps ail digestive issues). A slurry is another fancy chef term that means a thickened liquid, and in this case, you’re just whisking together water or broth (about ½ cup) with a small bit of kuzu (about 2 tablespoons). Add the mixture to your soup and bring it to a boil — when the kuzu slurry heats up, it releases its thickening powers. This one you won’t need to puree, as the slurry will thicken the liquid base of the whole soup.
Get more super soup tips here.