How to Thicken Pea Soup
Ways to Thicken Pea Soup
Most cooks find that split pea soup tends to thicken on its own, since the peas cook almost to the point of disintegration while the soup simmers. Adding more liquid or fewer dried peas causes a watery soup and often leads to the question of how to thicken pea soup without interfering with the flavor. There are quite a few ways to thicken soup, most of which are suitable for all types of pea soup.
Realistically, some pea soups, especially those with whole peas and green pea pods like snow peas, are best as a broth. Most pea soups have substance, a result of following the recipe and slow cooking the soup over a simmering burner or flame. Following are a few of the methods used to thicken pea soup.
Flour – Put 3 tablespoons of flour into a cup and gradually add some of the warm liquid from the soup, stirring to make a paste. Add the mixture a spoonful at a time to the soup, stirring to avoid lumps.
Tapioca – If you have made tapioca pudding, you already know tapioca is a natural thickening agent. Add a tablespoon of regular tapioca to the soup to begin with. Add quick-cooking tapioca the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.
Cornstarch – Put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a small bowl and add ¼ cup of liquid from the soup a spoonful at a time, mixing to avoid lumps. Stir the mixture into the soup a spoonful at a time to avoid lumps. The soup will thicken as it continues to simmer. Boiling causes cornstarch to break down.
Split Pea Bits – Grind a bag of split peas and store the tiny bits in an airtight container. When the soup is cooked, bring it back to a boil. Mix 3 tablespoons of the bits with 1/4 cup water and stir it into the soup. Lower the heat to simmer, continuing to stir. If the soup gets too thick, add a bit of water or stock to thin.
Increase the amount of potatoes, carrots, and celery in the recipe. After the soup is cooked, take out two cups of the veggies and peas. Let the veggies cool somewhat. Put them in the blender and puree. Stir the mixture back into the soup slowly.
Use yams or potatoes to thicken yellow or green pea soup. Peel and grate right into the soup. Let the soup simmer another 5 or 10 minutes. As an alternative, add a half cup of instant mashed potato flakes. Stir well and let the soup thicken.
Sour cream and yogurt come to mind and those are great ideas. Delicious cream adds richness and a wonderful pastel color. Several recipes call for cream. Other options are half-and-half and canned milk.
Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs so they could find their way home through the deep woods. Probably their mother intended to use the crumbs to thicken soup, as they work quite well for that purpose. Once the bread dries out, grind it in the blender or put it on a breadboard and use the rolling pin to break it into small pieces that will thicken the soup while combining with the mixture.
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