Ask Judy – Creamy Soups Dairy Free

Last month one of our readers asked “how do I get a “creamy” soup without the dairy”

Thanks, Marisa from Tasty Delights for the great question.  We are glad you asked and Judy is happy to answer.

The following post is brought to us by guest blogger Judy Fowler, Recipe Developer, Tester and Food Stylist. 

Do you have a question for Judy?  Post it below in the comment section and you will be entered to win a Be Well Prize Package*.

I thicken my soups in a number of ways to get a somewhat ‘creamy’ consistency.  The trick is not to associate the word creamy with the colour white. The easiest way to thicken soups is to incorporate some hearty vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips or rutabagas in your soups.

potatoes at market

Once the soup is cooked, remove one third of the amount – or one half the amount – and puree in a food processor or blender.
Then pour the pureed mixture back into the remaining soup. (Of course this gets tricky if you have meat of some kind in the soup. Just remove the meat from the amount you puree in the food processor.)

Also, split red lentils make a great thickener, as they break down and lose their shape when cooked. (They also lose the rich red-orange colour!)
I even add these split lentils to my whole lentil soup recipes.

Dried Split Red Lentils

Many soup recipes include broth as well as milk in the recipe. You can replace the milk with more broth and then thicken the broth with a mixture of flour and additional cold broth or cold water.

This method will give you a smoother textured soup – and provide a somewhat ‘creamy’ consistency for you. Just don’t look for the creamy white colour. Close your eyes and imagine……

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger

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1 Tbsp canola oil (15 mL)
1 medium onion, chopped (1 )
1 garlic clove, crushed (1 )
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated (15 mL)
3/4 cups dry red lentils (175 mL)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes (1 )
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (2 )
2 tsp curry paste or powder (10 mL)
5 cups gluten-free, low sodium vegetable broth or water (1.25 L)

1. In a medium-sized pot, heat canola oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion, garlic and ginger for 3-4 minutes, until the onion softens.
2. Add lentils, sweet potato, carrot, curry and broth. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
3. Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree right in the pot. Alternatively, transfer in batches to a blender and puree until smooth or mash it roughly with a potato masher.
4. Serve hot and garnish with sour cream, optional. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Ask Judy Guest BloggerEat Well…Judy

Judy is a food stylist, recipe developer & tester, mom, lazy gardener and Zumba enthusiast.  She welcomes the opportunity to experiment with new food items and share her passion and creativity with her clients, family and friends.

She is the food stylist for, and as well as many other clients.  If you have a recipe or ingredient question for Judy be sure to send it in to or leave it in the comment section below.

*Contest closes on this post February 16, 2013.  Winner will be notified via email and listed in the comment section below.  Full contest rules are available here. CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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2 thoughts on “Ask Judy – Creamy Soups Dairy Free

  1. Thanks Judy for answering my “how do you make soups creamy without the cream” question

    I have another question…I am learning how to bake gluten free, I do not have celiac disease but constantly feel bloated so I am trying to switch many of my food sources to GF…When I bake bread which has a great taste and texture the top doesn’t brown like other breads…I do add poppy/sesame seeds but, how can I colour the top of the bread so it looks more appetizing?

  2. The following question arrived via email from our reader Val:

    “When making a recipe that will have a sauce or gravy, how do I substitute canola oil for the fat that may be called for in the recipe? Will it be a 1:1 substitution and will it thicken in the same way? I am using only canola oil in as many ways as possible where there is another type of fat called for in my recipes, in addition to reviewing all the excellent recipes on your website and from Great Tastes of Manitoba recipes. Thanks!”

    Thanks for your question Val!

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