Here's How To Use Nuts To Thicken Up Any Soup

Bowl of soup with nuts
Bowl of soup with nuts - Naseeb T N/Shutterstock

Don't get us wrong, thinner soups definitely have their time and place. An ultra-thick chicken noodle soup, for instance, just wouldn't hit the same as the brothy beauty with bobbing bits that fans know, love, and expect. But, no one wants to eat an overly watery squash soup or Nordic fish chowder. When you want to add creamy, luscious texture to your go-to soups, look no further than ground nuts.

Even if you haven't tried using this oft-overlooked thickener, ground nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are common choices for thickening soups and sauces in Spanish and African cuisines. No need to spend another minute mashing up a lumpy cornstarch slurry or assembling a roux. Other popular thickeners like heavy cream can mute or temper the bold flavors in punchy bowls like chicken tortilla soup, whereas pureed nuts contribute a subtle nutty, earthy flavor to the overall profile. Skipping the cream can also be a good fit for dairy-free and vegan foodies.

To do it, simply puree a handful of nuts in a high-powered food processor, or by hand with a mortar and pestle, until they've ground into a fine dice that borders on a paste. For easier, more uniform incorporation into your soup, add a splash of the broth to the ground nuts, whisk it into a paste, then stir that paste into the soup pot. Meatier nuts like cashews and almonds work particularly well for blending into paste.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

Grind Those Nuts Into A Paste And Stir 'Em Into Your Soup Pot

Ground almonds beside whole almonds
Ground almonds beside whole almonds - Everyday Better To Do Everything You Love/Getty Images

To help achieve a creamy blending consistency, pre-soak those nuts in a little water overnight. A cup of water per ½ cup of nuts is a good jumping-off point, but keep in mind that the more water you add to the blender, the thinner the paste will be, and vice versa. To thicken the consistency even further, puree a cup or two (or three) of the actual soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, then mix it back into the batch for a creamier, denser viscosity.

A handful of nuts can be all that stands between you and impressive, warming creamy chowders and stews. Add nutty flair and mouth-watering thickness to crab and corn chowder or New England clam chowder, rounding out the fishy flavor. Ground nut paste would also bring a welcome earthy depth to creamy potato and pea chowder or flavorful, silky carrot ginger soup. Nut paste can work especially well for dairy-free offerings that tend to veer on the thinner side like spicy black bean, roasted tomato, and cauliflower vegan soups. This tip works for both chunky and pureed soups to customize thickness and achieve a mouthwatering balance. You could even add ground nuts to your slow cooker soups for an ultra-lush, spoon-sticking texture that creates itself while you're away from the kitchen.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.