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How to Remove Chili From Soup

Whoops. You labored over your soup all evening but then got distracted for a second and dumped in too much chili powder or chili sauce. Luckily, you don't have to write off the entire pot of vegetables and all your hours of work as a waste. There are several ways to reduce or remove spicy chili flavor from a pot of soup.

Spoon out any hot ingredients that you can, such as chili peppers or large chili flakes. If the shaker simply came off your bottle of chili pepper as you were trying to add a dash of spice, scoop out as much as you can before it dissolves into the soup.

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Peel a potato and cut it into thick slices. Add the potato slices to the soup, simmer for five to 10 minutes, then remove the potato. As the potato cooks, it will absorb some of the spiciness. Heavy starch potatoes such as russets work best. Repeat the process with an additional potato if needed.

Pour in milk, cream or broth to the soup to dilute the chili flavor. Creamy dairy products are especially good at cooling an overly spicy soup.

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Try adding a spoonful or two of sugar to smooth soups or 1 tbsp. peanut butter to thicker soups or to stews. Small amounts will not alter the character of the soup perceptibly but will reduce the heat level.

Squirt in a dash of lemon or lime juice. The acids in the juice will dull the heat.

Add more of the other ingredient of the soup, especially bland ones like noodles, beans or potatoes, or sweet ones like carrots or parsnips. If necessary, separate the soup into two batches and add more of every nonspicy ingredient.

Serve the soup with a carbohydrate like bread, crackers or tortilla chips to counteract the chilies. Offering your dinner guest a glass of milk or a sweet, noncarbonated beverage like iced tea will also help.

Garnish your soup with sour cream, cheese or cilantro. Any of these will reduce the level of heat.

Tips

If you're trying a new soup recipe and you're not sure how spicy it will be, add the chili pepper, chili sauce or fresh chilies in very small increments and taste it after it's cooked for a few minutes to evaluate the spiciness. It's a lot easier to add more heat than to take it out.

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