This may come as a revelation to some of you, but soups with heavy cream in them are delicious. More than just delicious, however, they have a certain mouth-feel that is just, well, out of this goddamn world. In my quest for better health and a happier body, I gave up adding heavy creams to my soups long ago. Yet, to my dismay and despite years of trial and error, I could not find a substitute that truly replicated the richness and mouth-feel of all that butterfat. And then I stumbled on a miracle.
Some of you may already be aware of this trick; others may only be aware of its close kin – cornstarch or flour in water. I came across this trick after a few hours of vain searching one evening. I put it to the test the very next day, and folks, it changed my life. It is far superior to thickening with potatoes or cauliflower, and even cornstarch or flour and water. You will smash your palms against your faces when you look at the ingredient list because it is such an obvious combination of a few old kitchen friends.
I have two tips that will improve your results with this substitute, however. First, use an immersion blender. You can either remove all but a small portion of the soup and blend the heavy cream substitute into it before returning everything to the pot, or you can keep it all in the pot, add the substitute, and immersion blend your way to creamy bliss. Immersion blenders are relatively cheap and easy to find; I use a $30 model purchased after some research from Macy’s. What matters is that you get one with a hefty motor. We don’t want none of those wimpy motors in our kitchens, thankyouverymuch.
The second tip is to really, really, really whisk the ingredients together vigorously. Don’t be bashful about risking some milk splashes and working up a sweat. You want it frothy and slightly thickened, at the least, before you put this substitute anywhere near your soup. Now, here’s the good stuff:
Healthy Heavy Cream Substitute
- 1 cup of milk (non-fat and 1% work just fine)
- 2 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1 tbsp of flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)
In a small bowl, whisking the milk vigorously, add the cornstarch and then the flour. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Add it to your soup and give it a minute or three to thicken everything up. The best approach is to immersion blend the substitute into at least a portion of the soup.
Got any other tasty tricks for making healthy eating as delectable as possible? Share them with us in the comments section!