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How to Thicken Your Homemade Fall Soups Without Adding Dairy

Wooden tray with hot autumn pumpkin soup decorated sesame seeds and thyme in white bowl on rustic vintage table top view.
Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock.com

Fall is officially in full swing, and it’s brought cooler, chillier weather along. That means it’s time to bust out sweaters, hot apple cider, and hearty yet nourishing soups. Thick vegetable soups like tomato, pumpkin, and butternut squash are autumn staples to help keep us warm and full as winter approaches.

If you’ve ever tried to make your own fall soups at home, you probably know that dairy products are generally the most reliable way to make them thick and creamy. But what if you’re lactose intolerant, otherwise can’t consume dairy, or are trying to cut down on your dairy intake?

Luckily there’s a super easy solution– just add more vegetables!

There’s several different ways you can go about this. You can take some of the vegetables you were planning on using to make the soup or grab some extra ones, blend them into a paste, and add them to the soup as it’s cooking. Adding a little fat like olive oil (roughly half a cup for every 4 servings of the soup) to the veggie mixture will help too.

Hamilton Beach Power Blender with Vegetable Chopper

Don't have a blender to meld your veggies together? This powerful blender or its accompanying vegetable chopper will get the job done.

If you don’t mind some extra starch to your soups, adding mashed potatoes will work equally well too. Either grab some leftover mashed potatoes (1 cup for every 1 cup of broth you’re using) and puree it with your broth before bringing it to a boil, or puree a few spoonfuls of instant mashed potatoes and add them to your soup as it cooks.

Your final option is to blend a cup of beans of your choosing into a puree and mix it in with your soup as it simmers.

Any of these three methods will add some extra thickness and body, without diluting the taste of the soup and keeping it completely dairy-free.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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