"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Terms & Techniques
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #1
evenstranger's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 91
Roux the day....

I've been making roux for years to thicken and provide a base for soups, sauces, etc. Yesterday, I skipped the roux. The soup I was working on was not thickening up like I would like (potato soup, was hoping the potato starch would thicken more). I remembered someone telling me I could use a flour and liquid slurry to thicken it. I've done this before with cornstarch, and apart from a cornstarch flavor, it worked pretty well. So I tried it with flour, milk and some sour cream, since I was going to add it in anyway. The soup thickened up immediately, now almost too thick.

So here's my question - should I have started with a roux, or was this the better approach. I'm thinking thickening at the end is better so that the other ingredients have plenty of liquid to cook, meld and concentrate as the liquid reduces.



evenstranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 08:03 AM   #2
evenstranger's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 91
By the way, the soup was very good... I'll gather my notes and post the recipie.

evenstranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 09:22 AM   #3
Master Chef
jabbur's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 5,556
I've made soup both ways. I never really noticed a difference in taste. Usually I'll add the slurry for soups that need sauteed veggies. That way, I cook the veggies in the butter, add the broth and seasonings and heat it up and at the last add the slurry to thicken it. If it thickens too much, I add more broth or cream until I get the consistency I want.
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
jabbur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 10:09 AM   #4
Sous Chef
csalt's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 909
You could try whisking a small amount of semolina in at the end, or else add some pearl barley mix while it is cooking.
csalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 10:11 AM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 43,696
The benefit of a roux over a slurry is that you can make a roux darker. Cooking the roux for longer will cause the color to darken, changing the flavor at the same time. If you always make a white or blonde roux, there is no real difference vs. making a slurry other than the added fat in the roux. Be sure to cook the soup or any dish for a few inutes after adding a slurry to ensure the raw flour taste is gone.

You could puree some if the potato in the soup as a thickener.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 10:23 AM   #6
Sous Chef
csalt's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 909
In my ignorance I have only ever heard the UK definition of 'slurry'
so my neck hairs tend to stand on end when I read it in connection with cooking
csalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 57
I have a great many soups and sauces that I thicken with a roux at “the End”. The roux should be added to the liquid in small batches and beaten vigorously to prevent lumping. This may not work if you want a chunky potato soup.

The flour and water method you used is known as Whitewash. It does not have the flavor or texture you can get from a roux but if your soup had a good seasoning it seemed to be acceptable to you.

Cornstarch allows for a clear sauce and I don’t have a problem with the flavor. Arrowroot is use like cornstarch and will provide an even clearer sauce but is expensive.

There are some other thickening agents you can use. I have used bread crumbs on occasion when texture was not an issue but they will thicken a liquid very quickly so moderation is advisable.
Mirandgl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 09:17 AM   #8
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 80
The advantage of a roux is that the flour is cooked, whereas with the slurry it is still pretty "raw", but the soup flavor probably took care of what little there might be. And of course, for a potato soup you would not want a darker roux, as you might for gravy. Nor a gumbo roux, which is not for thickening at all, but for flavor.
For thickening a potato soup, you could either take out a potato and whiz it up in the FP, or add instant potato flakes.
Bean soups, for example, can be thickened by removing some of the cooked beans and blending them and adding back.

Charleysaunt is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.