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Culinary Arts

How to Fix Oversalted Soup: 4 Ways to Rescue Salty Soup

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Sep 16, 2020 • 1 min read

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Salt can turn any soup from bland to bomb. But what happens when your homemade soup turns out too salty? Don't worry, it happens to most cooks. There are a few easy fixes to tone down the saltiness so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Wolfgang Puck Explains How to Fix Oversalted Soup

4 Ways to Fix Oversalted Soup

Try one of these four methods to rescue a salty soup.

  1. Add dairy. One of the easiest ways to compensate for oversalting is to add dairy. If you've got dairy in the fridge, add a dollop or swirl of yogurt, heavy cream, milk, or sour cream to the bowl before serving. The neutral flavor of the dairy serves a diluting function and also adds creaminess to the soup. Coconut milk, avocado, or a swirl of olive oil can serve a similar function for vegan soups.
  2. Add acid. It may seem counterintuitive, but adding a small amount of acid to the soup can cancel out some of the salty taste by distracting your taste buds. Try a squeeze of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. And if you're cooking a dish that features crushed tomatoes, throw in some more—tomatoes are very acidic.
  3. Try the potato trick. To combat salt, place a peeled raw potato into the pot of cooking soup. The starchy tuber will absorb liquid and some of the excess salt. You’ll need to remove the potato once it's fully saturated with extra salt, but before it's fully cooked, about 30 minutes. (Cutting the potato into pieces will maximize surface area, speeding up this process, but also increases the chance that the salty potato will incorporate into the soup.)
  4. Dilute. If you were too liberal with the salt shaker and have leftover ingredients from the recipe, you can lower the salt concentration by adding more of the other ingredients into your soup. Unsalted broth (not low-sodium broth, which still has added salt), water, and veggies are your best bets. If diluting your soup makes it too thin, use a spoonful of cornstarch as a thickener.
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