How to Fix an Over-Salted Soup, According to the Professionals
There's nothing like a pot of homemade soup, especially on a chilly day. Not only is it delicious, but if you make a big batch, you can freeze and store soup for easy meals down the road. Sounds perfect, right? It is, until you take a taste and discover you've added too much salt to the pot, rendering it inedible. Don't throw away that soup just yet, though. It's easy to fix an over-salted soup. To find out how, we asked the experts who make delicious soups and other products at Fischer & Weiser in Fredericksburg, Texas.
How to Avoid Over-Salting Soup
The easiest way to avoid over-salting your soup is to taste it as you go. Add salt in small increments. Remember, you can always add more if it's not enough. Ashley Seelig, director of quality assurance and product development at Fischer & Weiser, says you should also be aware of sneaky ingredients. "Broths and condensed soups are notorious for being salty," she says. She warns that many spice blends contain added salt, too. Be sure to read the labels of your ingredients. You may also have to avoid added salt if you're cooking with sodium-filled meats like ham or bacon.
How to Fix Salty Soup
Carolyn Brown, executive chef at Fischer & Weiser, says her favorite method for reducing salt is simply adding water. Be sure to add it in small increments, tasting as you go. If you find your soup is getting too thin, she suggests adding a starch like corn starch or flour to your water at a 1:1 ratio. She also adds, "for a cream-based soup such as potato soup, add more cream with the water."
If you've got some dairy in the refrigerator, Brown says you're in luck. "One of the best ways to compensate for over-salting is to add dairy. Add a swirl of yogurt, heavy cream, or even sour cream." Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. The dairy can be added to the entire pot, or directly to the bowl before serving.
Seelig suggests peeling a potato or two (or more depending on your pot size) and boiling them in the pot with your soup. Let them simmer for about 30 minutes to soak up the excess salt. When you're finished, just remember to remove the potatoes from your soup.
Both Seelig and Brown say adding broth to your soup is a great way to dilute salt. If you have time, Seelig suggests making it yourself by boiling protein in water. If you're using store-bought broth, be sure to read the label to make sure there is as little sodium as possible.