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Egg Yolks Are The Waste-Free Way To Thicken Most Soups

Ladle pouring creamy soup
Ladle pouring creamy soup - Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

Autumn and winter are the perfect times to lean into all your favorite soup recipes. Whether you're making homemade vegetable soup or creamy chicken with wild rice, sometimes your soup recipes might need a little extra help to achieve the results you're hungry for. If you find you have a runny soup that needs a little thickening, you may have just discovered a reliable use for your saved egg yolks.

If you bake at home, you are probably used to seeing recipes that call for using only the white part of an egg. This can leave you stumped about what to do with leftover egg yolks, besides using them to create a creamy pasta sauce. Did you know those yolks can be incorporated into your next pot of soup? Egg yolks serve as superb emulsifiers thanks to lecithin, a natural fat found in the bright yellow part of an egg. This fat works to fuse opposing ingredients like oil and water to produce convenient thickening agents for almost all of your favorite foods. If you find your next soup needs a little more viscosity, egg yolks may be the thickener you're looking for.

Read more: The 20 Best Egg Brands, Ranked

Temperature Control Is Essential

Egg yolks in white bowl
Egg yolks in white bowl - MaraZe/Shutterstock

Among the many convenient ways to thicken your next soup, egg yolks are a great ingredient to try. However, adding leftover yolks to hot liquid requires some precision. When you add egg yolks to a hot liquid, you risk scrambling the yolks before they can thicken the soup. To avoid this, add your egg yolks to a separate bowl and allow the yolks to come to room temperature. Once the yolks have warmed and been whisked, slowly incorporate a bit of hot soup into the bowl, continuing to mix in order to prevent your egg from scrambling. After a few ladles of soup have been successfully added, pour the entire eggy mixture directly into your pot of hot soup, stirring as you go.

Start by adding one ladle of the egg yolk mix to the soup at a time; once it has been successfully incorporated, check the consistency of your soup to decide if it needs additional body. Not only will your new and improved soup have a creamier, more robust texture, but egg yolks can also add a nuanced complexity when it comes to flavor. Now that you know how to successfully use egg yolks to thicken your next pot of soup, what soup varieties may potentially benefit from an egg-based thickener?

Freeze Extra Yolks

Creamy vegetable soup in bowl
Creamy vegetable soup in bowl - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

If you're wondering what types of soup may benefit from the addition of egg yolks, think of all your favorite varieties that are supposed to have a hearty consistency. Many recipes for thick soups such as potato or chicken and sausage gumbo require a roux of butter and flour to be made before any liquid is added to the pot. If you don't add enough flour, or just prefer a thicker soup, egg yolks can be the perfect ingredient to add once all other ingredients have been incorporated. This convenient yolk addition gives your resulting meal a last-minute texture boost that is silky and smooth.

Considering how easy it is to use egg yolks to thicken a soup, you may want a way to store egg yolks long-term so you have some on hand any time you need them. According to The Incredible Egg, raw egg yolks only last for 48 hours in the refrigerator. If you want to extend the useful life of leftover egg yolks, freeze them. Frozen egg yolks can last as long as a year but should be separated and mixed with either salt or sugar to avoid their texture from becoming gelatinous. The next time you're in the mood for a thick, hearty soup, consider incorporating an egg yolk or two, whether fresh or frozen, to create a rich and creamy meal.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.