This Clever Cooking Hack Will Transform Your Watery Soup Into Thick, Creamy Perfection

Got instant mashed potatoes? Then you can say goodbye to sad, thin soup.

While you might already be familiar with some of the genius cooking hacks to be found on the social media platform TikTok (hello perfectly roasted potatoes), you might still be in the dark about another online treasure trove of tips and tricks: Reddit. The social news platform lacks fancy graphics and relies instead on avid users to post and vote on content. Reddit's lack of visuals can make certain content areas, such as food posts, less "viral" than platforms that use attention-grabbing videos and photos, but there's a wealth of helpful tips and tricks for the culinary-minded. Case in point? This simple, clever soup-thickening hack that's never occurred to us before.

A poster in Reddit's cooking forum tells an all-too-familiar tale. She makes lentil soup in her Instant Pot, and despite following the directions to a T, ends up with a watery, thin finished product. Her solution? Add plain instant mashed potatoes (which are essentially just dehydrated potatoes) to the finished soup recipe as a thickening agent. Simple? Yes. Incredibly effective? You bet. This trick works because the instant mashed potatoes are naturally starchy and therefore are similar in form to other commonly used thickeners, such as cornstarch, only without the clumps.

After her post went viral with 870 comments and an 85 percent upvote from community members, the original poster went back to add some additional tips. She points out that it's wise to consider what type of soup you are making before adding the dried potato. For example, a delicate miso soup might not be the right candidate, while a potato leek or cream-based soup could work perfectly. You could always test the combo out on a small portion of soup before altering your full batch, just to be on the safe side.

Other Effective Ways to Thicken Soup

Make a Roux

While the tater hack is a good one, it's not the only way to thicken a soup. If you don't have instant mashed potatoes on hand or are looking for another way, try making a roux. Whisk a few tablespoons of flour or cornstarch into a little water or broth, then whisk that mixture into the soup itself.

Give It a Whirl

Another option is to puree a few cups of the soup—broth, veggies, and anything else—and then pour it back into the main pot (you can also use an immersion blender). This will thicken the texture by way of aeration without adding anything extra.

Add Starchy Ingredients

Adding rice or lentils, for instance, will seriously beef up a lackluster soup.

Stir in Something Creamy

Finally, you can always add yogurt, cream, or coconut milk to your soup to get that creamy, thick texture you're looking for.

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