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Thicken Your Soup With. . .Tofu?

This creamless creamy ingredient is your ticket to silky smooth deliciousness. 
By Published Apr. 21, 2022

I make soup regularly. You might say I’m a soup-er fan (sorry). I particularly enjoy creamy soups. It’s like eating a warm hug! 

But creamy soups don’t have to weigh you down. Soups can achieve said creaminess without using cream. You can add cheese, potatoes, coconut milk . . .

. . . or even, tofu? 

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That’s right. Tofu. Test Cook Carmen Dongo proved tofu’s “creamability” while working on Five Ingredient Dinners. This book gets 5-ingredient dinners on the table through clever kitchen hacks such as the cross-utilization of ingredients.

In her recipe for Gingery Coconut Carrot Soup, Carmen says, “The secret to both the soup’s silky texture as well as its heartiness is tofu—I crisp some in the saucepan, then blend more into the soup.” 

So the next time you’re looking for a lighter creamy soup option, grab some tofu. You won’t be disappointed.

Gingery Coconut Carrot Soup with Tofu Croutons

Serves 4

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 3 equal slabs, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped


1. Place tofu on paper towel–lined plate and let drain for 20 minutes,then gently press dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 2 tofu slabs and cook, flipping as needed, until lightly browned on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer tofu to cutting board and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces; set aside.

2. Add carrots and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to oil left in saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 11⁄2 cups water and coconut milk, scraping up any browned bits and bring to simmer. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Transfer 1 cup soup and remaining tofu slab to blender and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir pureed soup and reserved browned tofu into remaining soup in saucepan and adjust consistency with extra hot water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chopped peanuts.