Help Me, Kenji — Can You Make Creamy Soups Without Cream?

January 6, 2016 | By | Comments (6)

1512p22-kenji-creamy-soup

Q: Can you make creamy soups without cream?

A: Yes, and the result is even more delicious.

The secret is a fancy-sounding but easy-to-understand thing called emulsion, which occurs when you force together two things that do not normally mix. For creamless pureed soup, those two things are oil and a water-based liquid (pureed vegetables).

To get these natural enemies to play nicely, you need to add an emulsifier. Following the example of Andalusian gazpacho, I use a bit of bread, which makes the texture richer and thicker.

I tested this method on a few veggie soups. First up, tomato. I sautéed onions and garlic with a pinch of oregano and pepper flakes in olive oil, then added a can of whole peeled tomatoes along with a single slice of bread. I simmered it for a few minutes, loosened it up with a cup of vegetable stock, then pureed it in the blender, drizzling in a couple tablespoons of olive oil as it spun. The result? A soup as creamy as any cream of tomato soup I’d ever had. Cream has a tendency to dull flavors. Not a problem in my cream-free version, which, even when made with canned tomatoes, tasted bright and fresh.

Next I tried it with mushrooms. Another success. I went through a litany of creamy soups—broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, pea, even chicken—all with the same results: great texture and brighter flavor.

The fact that my soups all taste brighter now is reason enough to love this method. That it’s healthier is the icing on the cake (or should I say the cream in the soup?).

More Cooking Tips from Kenji:

COMMENTS

  1. The Best Make-Ahead Mother’s Day Breakfast Idea | Cooking Light

    […] Can You Make Creamy Soups Without Cream? […]

    April 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm
  2. The Trick to Making a Killer Pan Sauce Every Time | Cooking Light

    […] Can You Make Creamy Soups Without Cream? […]

    April 22, 2016 at 10:00 am
  3. Help Me, Kenji — Can I Make Tasty Neapolitan-Style Pizza at Home? | Cooking Light

    […] Can You Make Creamy Soups Without Cream? […]

    February 25, 2016 at 11:45 am
  4. Susan T

    Will gluten free bread work as an emulsifier?

    January 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm
  5. Help Me, Kenji — Why Do I Need Tons of Water To Boil Pasta? | Cooking Light

    […] Can You Make Creamy Soups Without Cream? […]

    January 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm
  6. Howard

    Other natural, healthy replacements for cream include white beans, pureed potatoes, rolled oats, and even ground nuts or nut butter.

    Check out such recipes in: https://encorebookclub.com/soup-recipes-the-ultimate-guide/

    January 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s