For Thicker Soup, Try Adding Beans To The Broth

Beans are a great addition to any soup you want to make a little heartier. They are high in plant protein and fiber, so they add nutrients like folate and iron and help keep you full and satisfied for longer. Because it's broth-based, soup is often considered an appetizer, not the main meal. However, there are many ways you can use beans to thicken your broth for a satisfying lunch or dinner.

Adding white beans to vegetable soups like minestrone can add bulk to the dish, especially if you opt for a vegetarian version. Similarly, chicken tortilla soup gets an upgrade when black beans are added to the broth.

Of course, if you specifically want a thicker soup broth, adding boiled potatoes or refried beans is a great trick because they break down in the liquid and naturally release their starches. While a cornstarch slurry or even aquafaba can be used to thicken your soup, beans are a simple way to accomplish this using whole foods.

There are many ways to utilize beans

 As detailed by a Reddit user, a can of refried beans can be swapped for two cans of regular beans in various soup recipes. One commenter wrote, "This idea has opened up new worlds for me." Another commenter noted a dairy-free chicken tortilla soup could be made in a slow cooker, using refried beans to achieve a creamy consistency.

Of course, just adding beans, whether whole or refried, isn't the only option to thicken your soup's broth. Another great technique for a thicker soup involves using a hand blender to emulsify your beans into the broth. This allows you to completely puree your soup or leave parts of it chunky while still creating a denser broth. If you don't have an emulsion blender, pouring the soup into a regular blender also works.

Using blended beans in your broth is also a nutritional solution for kids or picky eaters since you can sneak some extra protein into the soup without it being noticeable. While lentils aren't technically beans, they are also a part of the legume family and work as a wonderful addition to soups with a spicy Indian flair. Ultimately, the texture of your soup is an important factor, and the versatility that beans can bring to the broth can create many tasty options.