Guest Post: Creamy Soups 101

First of all, I will like to express how excited I am to be writing a guest post for Nicole while she is away. I am very honoured to have this opportunity. Thank you so much, Nicole!

Hello everyone! This is Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites. I love blogging about my culinary experiments as I try to cook delicious and healthy foods. In addition, I also enjoy sharing my own tips on how to better embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.

Just to tell you a little bit about myself…ever since I was a little girl, I have always been really big on eating. As my passion for food grew stronger, an interest for nutrition also sparked. Hence, I decided to pursue a degree in Dietetics at the University of British Columbia. It is an incredible feeling to be able to breath and talk food and nutrition all day long and share this passion with other like-minded peers. Right now, my focus is to graduate in two years and become an RD. Then, I will like to work as a private consulting dietitian and continue to share my passion with others around me and make a difference in their lives.

As for now, in this post, I’ll like to share with you my top secret tricks to creating luscious, creamy soups without using cream. Enjoy and indulge!

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Creamy soups can truly be a heavenly indulgence, but the fact that they can easily contain up to an entree’s worth of calories make them a lot less appealing. Because cream soups are traditionally made with heavy, high-fat creams, each sip comes with a lot of calories and artery-clogging saturated fats. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid creamy soups! You can easily cut calories, retain its rich and silky texture and boost the soup’s nutritional profile by making a few simple substitutions.

Root Vegetables

When boiled until fork tender, starchy root vegetables can be pureed effortlessly with a little bit of liquid (water, stock or lower-fat milk) to produce a silky consistency.  They will provide creaminess to the soup, and give a nutritional bonus in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Plus, this technique can be a super easy method to sneak in more vegetables into your diet. Any root veggies will work — my favourite ones are carrots, parsnips (like this recipe here, Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup), winter squash and sweet potatoes.

Legumes

Like root vegetables, legumes turn into a thick, creamy paste when pureed. They will give body to the soup and offer a smooth, silky mouthfeel. Even better, legumes add in a healthy dose of fiber and protein, which will help to slow down digestion and keep you full for longer. You can choose to use one type of legume or use a mix to add more flavour and richness, like this Creamy Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs and Spinach.

Bread

Bread is another effective soup thickener. Simply tear bread into little pieces and add to the soup. They will soak up liquid until completely saturated and then start to melt into the soup. Then with additional blending, the bread pieces will become well mixed in the soup and help to create a thick and creamy texture. Choose whole wheat breads for a high-fiber nutritional punch (but avoid multigrain and nutty breads because the seeds and grains will not blend into the soup well). Try this technique to make a comforting, delectable Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup.

Even if you have always considered cream as an indispensible ingredient for making creamy soups, it is time to change your mind! There are actually lower-calorie and healthier choices that will add body and provide a creamy, rich texture to soups. Try these simple additions today and recreate your own versions of slimmed-down creamy soups!

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18 Comments

  1. March 21, 2010 / 9:23 am

    thanks for sharing. I love creamy soups and that are great ideas.

  2. March 21, 2010 / 2:02 pm

    Love creamy soups…and they don’t even need to include cream to be creamy and delicious!

  3. March 21, 2010 / 3:05 pm

    I love creamy soups!! My husband recently made us an amazing creamy kabocha soup. Omg, so amazing!! 🙂

  4. March 21, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    Fantastic guest post, and great info on creamy soups! I was recently experimenting in the kitchen and realized that the more tender I cook my root veggies, the smoother the soup is…so now I cook the veggies for a very long time before pureeing! 🙂

  5. March 21, 2010 / 6:54 pm

    Great post! I love experimenting with soups – and I refuse to use cream or flour!

  6. March 21, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    I use the root vegetables method a lot, but I never would have thought to use bread. It makes perfect sense when you think about it.

  7. March 21, 2010 / 7:51 pm

    Stephanie, you always have great posts! I use potatoes in my potato leek soup to make I’d creamy and it’s even thicker than a cream based soup.

  8. March 21, 2010 / 7:54 pm

    Stephanie, I always love your posts 🙂
    I use that starch trick with my potato leek soup which I honestly think is thicker and creamier than a cream based version.

  9. March 21, 2010 / 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for all your kind words!

    It’s great to see that so many of you know the root vegetables trick – it’s simple, healthy and delicious, so much better than cream or flour! 🙂

  10. March 22, 2010 / 5:58 am

    Yum! I loveeee soup, even in the spring and summer 🙂 Creamy soups are always a great comfort food. Thanks for sharing this great information!

  11. March 22, 2010 / 7:55 am

    I have to share my favorite trick – cottage cheese! When blended until completely smooth, it makes for deliciously creamy and healthy soups.

  12. March 22, 2010 / 9:02 am

    Bread is such a good idea!! I will have to try that sometime 🙂

  13. March 22, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    I have been adding butternut squash and carrot puree to my soups to thicken them – it is sooo filling this way! Great tips 🙂

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