It’s the sort of weather where you lust after a big bowl of delicious homemade soup. Nothing warms a person up from the inside out better! Flour has been traditionally used to thicken soups since the days of Escoffier. But it can be a no no for some people with the rise of wheat and gluten allergies. So how do you thicken a soup without it? Here are a few ways:

Potato is an excellent thickener.  It won’t influence the tastes of the soup you are making and blends to a sensually smooth texture.  Just add a couple of medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, with the rest of the ingredients in a recipe for four. Good for creamy soups like Cauliflower, Parsnip or Mushroom. 

Lentils also do the job. For something like a Carrot and Coriander soup, add a couple of tablespoons of red lentils in a recipe for four.  They will boil down in the soup and add body and colour when you blend.

Chopped tomatoes and beans work well for main course chunky soups – they add body plus a rustic texture and taste. Butter beans, haricot and red kidney beans add their own personality, mixed with a selection of chunky veggies,  for a substantial, gutsy meal in bowl.