Chickpea Flour Is The Secret Ingredient For Thicker Soup Broth

A thick, hearty soup is perfect for a chilly fall or winter day. But, what should you do if your soup still seems a little loose and watery, even after the cooking time has long since ended? Reach for a lesser-known but valuable pantry ingredient: chickpea flour.

Some home cooks may first opt for corn starch or regular wheat flour to thicken up soup, but a close comparison shows that chickpea flour my be a better option. It offers more protein and fiber than corn starch or wheat flour and doesn't risk the clumpy, gritty texture or raw taste that these other, more traditional options can sometimes lead to. Chickpea flour also offers another benefit over conventional wheat flour: It's gluten-free, making more recipes accessible to those with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or preferences.

It's also simple to use. Without the risk of clumping, chickpea flour can be added a spoonful at a time directly to your the pot, and you can adjust as necessary until you've reached the desired thickness.

Chickpea flour is easy to find and easy to make

It's worth noting that chickpea flour also provides a subtly nutty and buttery flavor that may be desirable. While some dishes benefit from it, it's not noticeable in others, so you should keep this in mind in recipes with exceptionally light flavors where the taste profile of chickpea flour might make a more significant difference.

Chickpea flour is a relatively common alternative and can be found at many supermarkets and international grocery stores. It's also relatively simple to make at home, too. It requires just one ingredient: dried chickpeas. To make, blend them on high speed in a blender or food processor until they reach the consistency of flour, sieving to remove any remaining large pieces. The resulting flour can last up to two months in an airtight container.

So the next time you're whipping up a soup or stew (like one of our 12 best soup recipes for fall or winter) and need a bit of super-powered thickening help, don't forget to reach for this versatile, convenient staple.