The Best Way To Thin Out Overly Thick And Gloopy Canned Soup

When it comes to convenience and affordability, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better meal than canned soup. However, some selections can be on the thicker side, such as hearty black bean soups. Fortunately, there's an easy way to reduce the viscosity of chunky soups while simultaneously boosting the flavor. In this case, adding a bit of water to the soup while you're heating it can reduce the overall thickness while cutting back on some of its sodium content.

If you want to enhance the flavor of canned soup, you can also thin it out by adding a bit of broth. Be sure to use a low-sodium option, or you could inadvertently add to the salt content and end up with a meal that's not as palatable or nutritious, depending on your dietary needs. Conversely, if you want to boost the consistency of a thinner soup, adding a thickening agent like coconut milk will positively impact its texture. 

As far as gloopy soups are concerned, what makes some concoctions thicker than others?

Thick canned soup is a feature, not a bug

While the major brands responsible for manufacturing canned soups are pretty tight-lipped regarding recipe specifics, that doesn't stop consumers from speculating. In particular, some wonder why so many soup brands are so thick out of the can. One person even initiated a Reddit thread to get to the bottom of the issue (or can, as it were).

According to the poster, who claimed to be new to the world of canned soups, the offerings are "weirdly thick," even when it comes to so-called "thin" soups like chicken noodle. The poster singled out Progresso soups, describing them as "gloppy." According to one commenter, Progresso intentionally makes its soup with a thicker broth to ensure customers are fully satisfied. Another person said canned soup brands often use meat or chicken stock, which naturally contain gelatin. Based on these responses, it seems soup brands may intentionally make products thicker to appeal to their customers. However, most offer instructions on how to make products a little more to your liking. 

How much water should you add to canned soups?

When you have questions about proper canned soup preparation, most manufacturers include helpful instructions for greater insight. When in doubt, consult the product label before adding water to prevent it from becoming too thin. For example, Campbell's recommends whisking in one can of water to its condensed cream of chicken soup. In this case, you would use the can the soup came in to add water to the mix (a standard can of Campbell's cream of chicken soup is about 10.5 ounces). After adding water, you can prepare the soup as you normally would, i.e., heating the soup on the stovetop and stirring occasionally. 

If you add too much water, you can use different techniques and ingredients to re-thicken the soup. One method involves incorporating 1 tablespoon of flour and about 3 tablespoons of soup in a bowl, then adding the mixture into your soup pot. Be sure to cook the soup for a few more minutes afterward to help fully incorporate the flour. A spoonful of yogurt is also beneficial for thickening thin soups, particularly those with a creamy base. By following these tips, your canned soup preparations will be palate-pleasers every time.