Slurry vs Roux

Chef Husband is a master at making soup from scratch. He taught Soups, Stocks and Sauces at Shasta College for oodles of years and the necessity of developing a Soup du Jour on a daily basis for restaurants, keeping creativity at the forefront.

I’ve become very spoiled with the texture of his soups, which always have some body to them, being very silky and not just watery/brothy. Today he used up the remaining pork roast from our wine dinner a couple nights ago and put together a tortilla soup of sorts. We had flavor, but the texture seemed so thin. To remedy that, we needed a thickener. So, he handed me a box of cornstarch. I made a slurry by taking a few spoonfuls of the cornstarch and then adding in enough cold water (usually about equal parts) til it stirred easily (not sticky like Oobleck). Up to a boil the soup went, and I drizzled in the slurry, as I stirred the soup, and in a few minutes the soup had thickened nicely.
I asked why we are using cornstarch instead of a roux. Quite simple really. It’s faster to make a cold water and cornstarch slurry than to cook a flour and butter roux on the stove top (which should always be on hand in a professional kitchen). And usually you would use roux for heavier creamier looking soups, and reserve the cornstarch for lighter and more opaque soups, such as in Asian Cuisine, think Egg Drop Soup or even Chicken Noodle Soup.

After tightening up the soup, the consistency was much smoother…but we were out of Knorr Chicken Base, so the soup still needed a little somethin’ somethin’. Putting chicken base on the shopping list.


Until next time…
Culinarily Yours,

Mrs. Chef (Christa)

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