While most recipes suggest using flour or corn starch to thicken soups and stews, I have a secret ingredient for thickening soups that’s gluten free and vegan – and it’s super healthy, too. It’s beans! By using white beans in place of other thickeners, you’re getting a gluten free, vegan thickener that’s loaded with fiber. What more could you ask for in a soup or stew thickener?
Gluten Free Soup Thickener
Cook white beans – I usually cook about 2 pounds of great northern white beans following my regular method – and then after the beans have cooled, measure 1 heaping cup into freezer containers – or use plastic sandwich bags (see note below) – and tuck them into your freezer. When you’re making a soup or stew, grab one of your bean bags from the freezer the morning of your delicious soup or stew is to be served. I don’t have a microwave in my little kitchen but perhaps this could be done in a microwave.
By dinner time, your beans are thawed and ready to add to your soup. As the soup cooks, the beans will break down and make the soup or stew creamy rather than just broth.
Yes, you can used canned beans but why would you want to? The savings really add up when using dry beans vs. canned beans.
Plus, if you’re using canned beans, here’s what you get.
Note: I like to use open top bags which cost much less than the zip top bag. Simply use a twist tie to secure the top. Rinse, dry, and recycle them when you’re done or use them again.
That’s the secret! White beans also make a nice lunch – a packet of white beans sauteed with olive oil, fresh sage, and garlic. Yum!
How do you like to thicken soups or stews?
Go Gingham related links:
Why I cook with dried beans – complete with money saving chart!
How to cook with dried beans – easy and you can use a slow-cooker
Why the “can” is bad in canned beans
Vegetarian chili made with dried beans – of course!
Very easy and tasty white bean dip
Corn and black bean salad – made with dried beans
Spicy hummus – yes, spicy and made from dried beans!