This One-ingredient Hack To Thicken Soups & Stews Also Makes Them More Flavorful

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We love all kinds of soups and stews, esepcially when we have crackers, rolls, or bread on the side for sopping up that flavorful broth. But sometimes we’re craving a really thick, stick-to-your-ribs meal. We want that broth to be luxurious, to warm us from the inside out, and to require the heartiest and crustiest artisan breads to scoop all the goodness from our bowl. So what to do if your meal doesn’t thicken up the way you’d like it to? Try this one-ingredient soup thickening hack: instant mashed potato flakes.

How to thicken soups and stews with no raw flour taste or cornstarch goupyness. #cookinghacks #soupandstews #thicking #comfortfood

♬ original sound – James Strange

This soup-thickening hack couldn’t be easier. Unlike using flour, which requires either making a little roux before you start cooking or a beurre manié afterwards, or using a cornstarch slurry that can create a gloppy texture, the instant mashed potato flakes can simply be sprinkled into the finished dish. Stir and let sit for a minute or two so the potato flakes have a chance to hydrate, and boom — you’ve got a rich, thickened soup or stew, with no raw powdery flour or cornstarch flavor left behind, just a gentle hint of potato. It’s also gluten-free.

Courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill.

This hack is especially helpful for slow cooker and pressure cooker recipes. When you cook something in the oven or on the stove, moisture evaporates from the dish, resulting in broth or liquid that’s thicker by the end of cooking time. But when you make a meal in the slow cooker or pressure cooker, the moisture stays trapped in the cooker, which means the cooking liquids tend to stay thin. Enter instant mashed potato flakes. Add a spoonful of potato flakes at the end of cooking time, and it will thicken things right up. You can even use this trick with foods like roast beef or other slow cooked or pressure cooked meats that have flavorful juices that you want to turn into a gravy-like texture.

Once you have a box of mashed potato flakes in your pantry, you might be surprised at how many uses you find for them. You can use them to make gnocchi, dinner rolls, breading for fried meats, mashed potato candy (really!) and, of course, mashed potatoes.

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