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Who does not love a bowl of thick soup with fresh brown bread on a cold evening? But how much cornstarch to thicken your soup to how you like it? Roughly, it will depend on the amount of soup you have simmering, but a rough guide is to use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl or cup full of cold water or wine.
The beauty of soup is that it can be prepared at very little cost and it has a definite dietetic value. Dietitians tell us that your main meal should be started with an unthickened stock soup while a lighter meal could begin with one of the cream soups.
A home-made soup that is lacking in strength or thickness may easily be improved by using cornstarch. But how much cornstarch to thicken different soups?
Cornstarch is a common thickening agent that is used in the culinary arts in hotels and restaurants so it can easily be used in your kitchen too. You can’t be a lazy cook and just add it willy nilly to a thin broth as it will just form horrible lumps so that you eventually have to discard the soup.
What Exactly Is Cornstarch?
Corn starch is a type of flour that is commonly used in pastries, desserts, and a variety of other recipes to improve their texture. It is often used in healthy cooking as it is an excellent alternative for people who are gluten sensitive and is also good for people who suffer from celiac disease.
Many people also confuse cornstarch with cornmeal, but they both are very different. Corn flour is made from whole dried corn kernels that are ground into flour. This can be used, for example, for bread baking and corn gruel. Corn starch, on the other hand, consists only of the starch in the corn kernel. It is mainly used as a thickening agent, but can also be used, for example, for gluten-free pancakes. The cornmeal is yellow while the cornstarch is almost white.
What many do not know, however, is that it is a very versatile product and can be put to be many good uses than just thickening the soups. Its consistency and properties mean that it is easy to mix with other ingredients, which makes it a good solution for many household chores and even cosmetic problems. We can talk about it in a separate article, however.
Here, We Will Focus On How To Thicken Soups And Sauces With Cornstarch
How Much Cornstarch To Thicken Soups And Sauces?
To thicken a soup with cornstarch, the first step is to make a slurry. This is usually an equal mixture of cornstarch and water or even some wine for a bit of a kick. The important part is making sure that the slurry is prepared with cold liquid.
A safe guide for knowing how much cornstarch to thicken soup is to make it roughly one tablespoon of cornstarch to a cupful of water. The idea is to stir the cornstarch into the water until it forms a smooth cream-like consistency before adding it into your soup.
Whisk the slurry briskly into the hot, simmering soup that you are wanting to thicken. You have to be on your guard though because by boiling and cooking too long the starch will in all likelihood break down and the soup becomes thin again.
When working out how much cornstarch to thicken, you must remember that cornstarch molecules soak up water and expand. When heated, cornstarch molecules swell and once a soup or sauce cools, the molecules set. There is a secret to knowing how long to boil your food.
The setting of these cornstarch molecules helps to solidify sauces and soups, making it an ideal thickening agent for pie fillings too. Its thickening properties are useful for all cooks because even other meals such as a stew, macaroni, and cheese or stir-fries that may be too watery can be thickened up with cornstarch.
How Much Cornstarch To Thicken – Versatile Cornstarch
Add some cornstarch and in a jiffy, all the extra liquid that makes your food look unattractive too will thicken into a nice, flavorsome sauce. Cornstarch can also be used to make a quick white sauce for vegetables and macaroni and cheese.
So essentially, making a slurry to add to soup or another dish, adds an important step to a recipe. A cream-of-potato soup recipe will tell you that you require 4 large potatoes, a large onion, chopped parsley, and a good white sauce.
You will need to cut up the onion and boil it with the potatoes. When soft, rub them through a sieve and add to the white sauce. Just before serving, add the parsley. Cornstarch can be added to the white sauce to thicken it if need be.
How much cornstarch to thicken the white sauce will once again be left to your discretion, bearing in mind that it is one tablespoon of cornstarch to a cup of cold water or wine which is then added to the sauce or soup. Remember that once your white sauce has come to a boil with the slurry added into it, the sauce must be removed from the heat lest the cornstarch’s molecules are destroyed and the sauce becomes thin again.
How Much Cornstarch To Thicken – Cornstarch Makes Food Look Good
How much corn starch to thicken fillings and custards for sweet treats? Super-versatile cornstarch can also be used in baked goods, being added as a thickener to a variety of pie fillings to cake fillings or for custards. It has as good a thickening power as regular flour has, which is also used for this purpose.
Combining starch such as cornstarch with other flours can soften the rigid proteins of the flour so that you end up with a light, chewy pudding. If you are going to use cornstarch instead of flour in your cake recipe, the secret to knowing how much cornstarch to thicken sauces, fillings for cakes, and puddings are to use half the amount you would use if you were using flour.
The reason for this is that cornstarch has twice the thickening capacity of flour. One thing is for sure, whatever you make in your kitchen, with cornstarch, your food is always going to be delicious and appealing to look at.